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.

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.

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.

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.

This model allows for the investigation of the effect spatial clustering of raw material sources has on the outcome of the neutral model of stone raw material procurement by Brantingham (2003).

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