Computational Model Library

Resilience of humans in the Upper Paleolithic could provide insights in how to defend against today’s environmental threats. Approximately 13,000 years ago, the Laacher See volcano located in present-day western Germany erupted cataclysmically. Archaeological evidence suggests that this is eruption – potentially against the background of a prolonged cold spell – led to considerable culture change, especially at some distance from the eruption (Riede, 2017). Spatially differentiated and ecologically mediated effects on contemporary social networks as well as social transmission effects mediated by demographic changes in the eruption’s wake have been proposed as factors that together may have led to, in particular, the loss of complex technologies such as the bow-and-arrow (Riede, 2014; Riede, 2009).

This model looks at the impact of the interaction between climate change trajectory and an extreme event, such as the Laacher See eruption, on the generational development of hunter-gatherer bands. Historic data is used to model the distribution and population dynamics of hunter-gatherer bands during these circumstances.

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