Joining Forces to Manage Artificial Intelligence in Archaeology!

We are glad to announce our participation in a new COST Action project, which created a network of archaeologists and computer scientists to develop a shared understanding of AI applications in archaeology. The project, a COST Action called “Managing Artificial Intelligence in Archaeology (MAIA)” (CA23141), gathers scientists from 8 countries, and is led by the University of Pisa (Italy).

We also celebrate that Hèctor A. Orengo (ICREA Research Professor at ICAC-CERCA) was selected as Spain’s representative in the Management Committee of the project.

The project is set to start in September 2024, stay tuned for news!


The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications within archaeology has brought incredible opportunities but also significant challenges. Only a few years ago, Machine Learning algorithms and Neural Networks were concepts unknown to archaeologists; now, AI has been applied to many archaeological fields, from the detection of archaeological sites, the recognition and reassembling of archaeological pottery, the mining of text from historical documents and epigraphs, the study of human remains, the identification of murals and graffiti, and even robotics. AI has great potential to create a better comprehension of shared archaeological heritage. However, a more profound understanding of which archaeological research questions could be addressed, the availability and creation of the data upon which this research relies, the ethical, epistemological and hermeneutical side of the challenges that AI poses, and the lack of sustainable access to the necessary resources to undertake this work now deserve more in-depth discussion and exploration. The MAIA COST Action will create a community of archaeologists, digital archaeologists and computer scientists who will work together to develop a shared understanding of AI applications in archaeology. This will include meetings and workshops bringing together researchers who wish to create or use digital collections and training data. Key to this will be training opportunities in the field for documenting archaeological resources optimised for AI research and Short Term Scientific Missions, where researchers can work across borders to understand how to create comparative and training data.

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

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