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Archaeology and Machine Epistemology

Gavin Lucas

In this paper, I will explore some of the implications of machine learning for archaeological method and theory. Against a back-drop of the rise of Big Data and the Third Science Revolution, what lessons can be drawn from the use of new digital technologies and computational approaches as they are applied to archaeological typologies? How can we understand the construction of these typologies that take us beyond old and tired debates about ‘theory-ladeness’ and the myth of ´raw data´? Drawing on recent work in the philosophy of science, this contribution will try and situate current developments in archaeology within the wider, cross-disciplinary discourse on machine epistemology and big data.

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