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.

This model builds on the Armature distribution within the PaleoscapeABM model, which is itself a variant of the PaleoscapeABM available here written by Wren and Janssen, and.

This model aims to explore where and how much shellfish is discarded at coastal and non-coastal locations by daily coastal foraging. We use this model’s output to test the idea that we can confidently use the archaeological record to evaluate the importance of shellfish in prehistoric people’s diets.

The recognition that aquatic adaptations likely had significant impacts on human evolution triggered an explosion of research on that topic. Recognizing coastal foraging in the past relies on the archaeological signature of that behavior. We use this model to explore why some coastal sites are very intensely occupied and see if it is due to the shellfish productivity of the coast.

Peer reviewed Vigilant sharing in a small-scale society

MARCOS PINHEIRO | Published Wed Jul 22 01:40:09 2020 | Last modified Wed Jul 29 02:03:28 2020

The model explores food distribution patterns that emerge in a small-scale non-agricultural group when sharing individuals engage in intentional consumption leveling with a given probability.

Style_Net_01

Andrew White | Published Tue Aug 3 16:06:06 2021

Style_Net_01 is a spatial agent-based model designed to serve as a platform for exploring geographic patterns of tool transport and discard among seasonally mobile hunter-gatherer populations. The model has four main levels: artifact, person, group, and system. Persons make, use, and discard artifacts. Persons travel in groups within the geographic space of the model. The movements of groups represent a seasonal pattern of aggregation and dispersal, with all groups coalescing at an aggregation site during one point of the yearly cycle. The scale of group mobility is controlled by a parameter. The creation, use, and discard of artifacts is controlled by several parameters that specify how many tools each person carries in a personal inventory, how many times each tool can be used before it is discarded, and the frequency of tool usage. A lithic source (representing a geographically-specific, recognizable source of stone for tools) can be placed anywhere in the geographic space of the model.

Cultural Spread

Salvador Pardo-Gordó Salvador Pardo Gordó | Published Thu Apr 2 11:44:34 2015 | Last modified Thu Apr 23 11:41:45 2020

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.

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