Running OxCal on an Xgrid

OxCal is a freeware program, developed by the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU), University of Oxford. It applies a Bayesian approach for the analysis of archaeological and environmental chronological information. Binaries are distributed for the current version (v.4) for Mac and Win platforms.

The application consists of three main modules. The project manager and output module are web based, but the core analysis module is an executable, compiled from C++ source code and can be launched from the command line. It takes a plain text input file *.oxcal which contains the instructions for OxCal.
On a Mac this would look like, for example:

OxCalMac 6000_5950_SEQ.oxcal

To execute multiple runs of this, each one with a different (*.oxcal) input file – in our case a total of 1200 – I set OxCal up to run on an Xgrid. Continue reading