Hi, I’m Joe. I’m a computational archaeologist – I try to understand past societies using quantitative data, statistics, and computer models. In practice, that means I spend most of my time looking for interesting data and writing R code. I’m particularly interested in early prehistory, and my research to date has centered on the human ecology of prehistoric foragers in the arid fringes of Southwest Asia, between about 25,000 and 8,000 years ago. Sometimes I also get my hands dirty: I do fieldwork in eastern Jordan as part of the Epipalaeolithic Foragers in Azraq project, and in the past have worked on field research in Iran, Oman, Ukraine, and Bulgaria.

I am currently working on the XRONOS project at the Institute of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern, and am also affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Early Agricultural Societies at the University of Copenhagen.

Recent activity


Open archaeology, open source? Collaborative practices in an emerging community of archaeological software engineers

Abstract Surveying the first quarter-century of computer applications in archaeology, Scollar (1999) lamented that the field relied almost exclusively on ‘hand-me-down’ tools repurposed from other disciplines. Twenty-five years later, this is no longer the case: computational archaeologists often find themselves practising the dual roles of data analyst and research software engineer (Baxter et al. 2012; Schmidt and Marwick 2020), developing and applying new tools...


Coping with the Cold – Climate Change Resilience and Vulnerabilities of Bronze Age Communities during the 3.7 ka ‘Löbben’ Glacier Advance (ca. 1900–1450 BCE)

Abstract Exploring how waterfront communities coped with floods and long-term lake level changes in the prehistoric past is crucial for a deeper understanding of the vulnerabilities and resilience capabilities related to climate-driven hydrological hazards in the present and future. In this paper responses to climate change effects on lakeshore settlements during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the Alpine region will be examined using...


Deploy a Fly app with Woodpecker CI

This post describes how to set up continuous deployment to fly.io using Woodpecker, an open source continuous integration engine. The Fly documentation includes instructions on how to set up continuous deployment with GitHub Actions and with GitLab CI/CD, but I couldn’t find anything for Woodpecker. Fortunately, the process is almost identical to setting it up with GitLab CI/CD, so I could figure it out...


Peer Review Report For: Inglämnlagare: a tool for restructuring Swedish HER record site data for statistical analysis [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]

An open peer review of: Löwenborg D and Antomonov F. Inglämnlagare: a tool for restructuring Swedish HER record site data for statistical analysis [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]. F1000Research 2023, 11:1370. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.126484.2 Review The article describes a Python script that transforms data from the Swedish Historic Environment Record (HER) into a format more amenable for programmatic data analysis. Inglämnlagare addresses an increasingly common...


Modelling the range of wild plants and crop progenitors in the Late Epipalaeolithic–Early Neolithic Levant

Abstract Late Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic societies in the Levant were amongst the first in the world to begin cultivating wild plants and, eventually, domesticating crops. The transition is well-documented in the archaeobotanical record and other palaeoecological proxies from this period, however these give ‘snapshots’ of flora at particular times and places, usually significantly conditioned by human action and various taphonomic processes. We cannot...