Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis

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Mission: Fostering synthesis in archaeology to expand knowledge and benefit society.
Vision: Expanding knowledge of the past to shape a more secure and just future.

The Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis (CfAS) promotes and funds innovative, collaborative synthetic research that rapidly advances our understanding of the past in ways that contribute to solutions to contemporary problems, for the benefit of society in all its diversity. This is accomplished through the analysis and synthesis of existing archaeological and associated data from multiple cultures, at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology established at University of Colorado Boulder

We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology (CCSA) within the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS). A cooperative venture of CU’s IBS and its Department of Anthropology, the new Center will be led by Professor Scott Ortman.  The following press release was issued today by CU.

CCSA and CfAS will work together to address challenges facing modern society that are the products of long term social dynamics best studied through collaborative synthetic archaeological research. As part of establishing CCSA, CU and the SRI Foundation, which houses CfAS, signed a Memorandum of Agreement that specifies the roles and responsibilities of each party.  We are grateful to the members of the CfAS Task Force that assisted in the development and review of the MOA, and to the CfAS Board of Directors that reviewed and unanimously approved it.   

CCSA has already submitted proposals on behalf of CfAS to fund synthetic studies of human migration and social inequality and it will administer these grants when they are awarded. We feel fortunate to have a partner as dedicated to and passionate about our mission of expanding knowledge of the past to shape a more secure and just future. On behalf of the CfAS community, we welcome CCSA to our cause.

Jeff Altschul and Keith Kintigh
Society for American Archaeology and European Association of Archaeologists Sponsored Design Workshop: Human Migration as Understood from a Long-Term Perspective

Human migration is much in the news. Often, the public debate is loud and divisive, striking at core issues of global economics, national politics, and social relations. While much of the debate is ill informed, there is a substantial amount of good research on the various issues related to migration. Almost all of this research is focused on contemporary migration, with very little use of historical data older than a few generations. Migration, however, has been central to human existence since the dawn of humanity. The social processes involved in migration can unfold over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Understanding these processes is central to designing successful policies on migration. Archaeology is key to this understanding.

In 2019, the Society for American Archaeology and the European Association of Archaeologists co-sponsored a CfAS design workshop on human migration as understood from a long-term perspective. The workshop brought together 15 participants from seven countries, with experience from six continents. The workshop led to the development of three proposed projects, which CfAS will move toward implementation in 2020. The workshop is detailed in a report presented in the CfAS Fall 2019 newsletter.

One result of the workshop was a statement from the participants about the urgency of this issue, which was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

CfAS 2019 Workshop by Keith Kintigh
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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