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    Damien Huffer (Bioarchaeology) Stockholm University – You Can Buy That?!

    Event Description

    Damien Huffer`s research interests includes, human bioarchaeology, especially biodistance analysis, kinship, stable and radiogenic isotope analysis and biomechanics. Antiquities trafficking and the human remains trade, Public archaeology and educational gaming, Cultural property/heritage law, Social media studies, data mining and the application of neural network analysis and machine learning to the study of illicit networks. His current project, You Can Buy That?!: Understanding Supply, Demand and Authenticity in the Human Remains Trade Using Data Mining and Archaeological Science. Looks at the trade of ancient human remains. This project continues ongoing collaborative efforts to apply neural network analysis and machine learning to the study of the online human remains trade on e-commerce and social media platforms, beyond eBay and auction houses. This component of the project makes use of large, updatable image, text, and metadata datasets to identify and define the underlying 'grammar' and 'rhetoric' that the human remains collecting and dealing community uses to advertise, sell, and negate ethical and legal concerns raised by the trade itself. He will speak about his ongoing research occurring within the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded The Bone Trade Project (https://bonetrade.github.io/). In general, this project is beginning to identify and map the online human remains trade across various social media and e-commerce platforms. As a summary presentation, He will highlight key points of methodologies used especially where they compliment or further the use of the digital humanities 'toolbox' and established and novel machine learning techniques to understand how this collecting community functions, what we can know of their complex morals and ethics, how they negotiate a complex legal landscape, and from which populations the human remains trafficked possibly originate. The examples given will be discussed in the context of how and why counteracting the human remains trade is relevant to the preservation of global heritage and the ability of osteoarchaeologists and descent communities to understand the human condition in centuries or millennia past."