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Many archaeological assemblages from the Iberian Peninsula dated to the Last Glacial Maximum contain large quantities of European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) remains with an anthropic origin. Ethnographic and historic studies report that rabbits may be mass-collected through warren-based harvesting involving the collaborative participation of several persons.
We propose and implement an Agent-Based Model grounded in the Optimal Foraging Theory and the Diet Breadth Model to examine how different warren-based hunting strategies influence the resulting human diets.
Particularly, this model is developed to test the following hypothesis: What if an age and/or gender-based division of labor was adopted, in which adult men focus on large prey hunting, and women, elders and children exploit warrens?
Zooarchaeological evidences indicate that rabbit hunting became prevalent during the Upper Palaeolithic in the Iberian Peninsula.
The purpose of the ABM is to test if warren hunting using nets as a collective strategy can explain the introduction of rabbits in the human diet in the Iberian Peninsula during this period. It is analyzed whether this hunting strategy has an impact on human diet breadth by affecting the relative abundance of other main taxa in the dietary spectrum.
Model validity is measured by comparing simulated diet breadth to the observed diet breadth in the zooarchaeological record.
The agent-based model is explicitly grounded on the Diet Breadth Model (DBM), from the Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT).