Computational Model Library

Cultural Spread

Salvador Pardo-Gordó Salvador Pardo Gordó | Published Thu Apr 2 11:44:34 2015 | Last modified Wed Nov 27 15:56:42 2019

The purpose of the model is to simulate the cultural hitchhiking hypothesis to explore how neutral cultural traits linked with advantageous traits spread together over time

The Palaeo-Agulhas Plain formed an important habitat exploited by Pleistocene hunter-gatherer populations during periods of lower sea level. This productive, grassy habitat would have supported numerous large-bodied ungulates accessible to a population of skilled hunters with the right hunting technology. It also provided a potentially rich location for plant food collection, and along its shores a coastline that moved with the rise and fall of sea levels. The rich archaeological and paleontological records of Pleistocene sites along the modern Cape south coast of South Africa, which would have overlooked the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain during Pleistocene times of lower sea level, provides a paleoarchive of this extinct ecosystem. In this paper, we present a first order illustration of the “palaeoscape modeling” approach advocated by Marean et al. (2015). We use a resourcescape model created from modern studies of habitat productivity without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain. This is equivalent to predominant Holocene conditions. We then run an agent-based model of the human foraging system to investigate several research questions. Our agent-based approach uses the theoretical framework of optimal foraging theory to model human foraging decisions designed to optimize the net caloric gains within a complex landscape of spatially and temporally variable resources. We find that during the high sea-levels of MIS 5e (+5-6 m asl) and the Holocene, the absence of the Plain left a relatively poor food base supporting a much smaller population relying heavily on edible plant resources from the current Cape flora. Despite high species diversity of plants with edible storage organs, and marine invertebrates, encounter rates with highly profitable resources were low. We demonstrate that without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain, human populations must have been small and low density, and exploited plant, mammal, and marine resources with relatively low caloric returns. The exposure and contraction of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain was likely the single biggest driver of behavioral change during periods of climate change through the Pleistocene and into the transition to the Holocene.

This model is an application of Brantingham’s neutral model to a real landscape with real locations of potential sources. The sources are represented as their sizes during current conditions, and from marine geophysics surveys, and the agent starts at a random location in Mossel Bay Region (MBR) surrounding the Archaeological Pinnacle Point (PP) locality, Western Cape, South Africa. The agent moves at random on the landscape, picks up and discards raw materials based only upon space in toolkit and probability of discard. If the agent happens to encounter the PP locality while moving at random the agent may discard raw materials at it based on the discard probability.

Metaphoria 2019

Timothy Gooding | Published Sun Feb 24 10:09:04 2019

This model test the efficiency of the market economy in comparison with a hunter/gatherer economy. It also compares the model outcomes between a market economy when using eternal agents with one using mortal agents.

Peer reviewed Ache hunting

Marco Janssen Kim Hill | Published Tue Aug 13 21:27:28 2013 | Last modified Fri Dec 21 00:51:33 2018

Agent-based model of hunting behavior of Ache hunter-gatherers from Paraguay. We evaluate the effect of group size and cooperative hunting

This program simulates a group of hunter-gatherer (households) moving randomly over an artificial landscapoe pulated with resources randomly distributed (a Gaussian distribution). To survive, agents hunt and gather using their own labor resources and available technology. When labor and technology is not enough to compensate the resource difficulty of access, they need to cooperate. The purpose of the model is to analyze the consequences of cooperation on cultural diversity: the more the agents cooperate, the more their culture (a 10 componenet vector) is updated to imitate the culture of cooperative agents. The less the agent cooperates, the more different its culture becomes.

WWHW is an agent-based model designed to allow the exploration of the emergence, resilience and evolution of cooperative behaviours in hunter-fisher-gatherer societies.

This spatially explicit agent-based model addresses how effective foraging radius (r_e) affects the effective size–and thus the equilibrium cultural diversity–of a structured population composed of central-place foraging groups.

This model represents technological and ecological behaviors of mobile hunter-gatherers, in a variable environment, as they produce, use, and discard chipped stone artifacts. The results can be analyzed and compared with archaeological sites.

Peer reviewed Lithic Raw Material Procurement and Provisioning

Jonathan Paige | Published Fri Mar 6 01:54:44 2015 | Last modified Thu Mar 12 06:21:26 2015

This model simulates the lithic raw material use and provisioning behavior of a group that inhabits a permanent base camp, and uses stone tools.

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