CRANE Projects


CRANE is collecting and integrating data from the Orontes region at an unprecedented level. Modern data mining, modeling/simulation and visualization techniques are being used to transform the data into information that helps researchers understand what was happening in the area.


In a simulation, researchers create a complex hypothetical world based on real-life data related to climate, geography, settlement location and patterns and artifacts. They can then run what are essentially “what if” questions to see how the simulation would react, based on statistical probability.


The simulations can continuously be refined by changing different parameters, allowing researchers to explore how different stimuli might affect the model, until it matches to what is found in the archaeological record.


CRANE is particularly interested in developing simulations that capture ‘emergent’ behaviour, or how things began.


In addition to asking the question, Where can we go from here?, (which are known as forward simulations), the work can also address the considerably more difficult question: How did we get here? (inverse simulations). By using its data sets, CRANE can ask if a final result was inevitable, impossible or possible.