Claudine Gravel-Miguel

Dr. Gravel-Miguel currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar for the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. She does research in Archaeology and focuses on the Upper Paleolithic of Southwest Europe. She currently works on projects ranging from cultural transmission to human-environment interactions in prehistory.

Research Interests

Archaeology, GIS, ABM, social networks, portable art, ornaments, data science

Peer reviewed Visibility of archaeological social networks

Claudine Gravel-Miguel | Published Sunday, November 26, 2023

The purpose of this model is to explore the impact of combining archaeological palimpsests with different methods of cultural transmission on the visibility of prehistoric social networks. Up until recently, Paleolithic archaeologists have relied on stylistic similarities of artifacts to reconstruct social networks. However, this method - which is successfully applied to more recent ceramic assemblages - may not be applicable to Paleolithic assemblages, as several of those consist of palimpsests of occupations. Therefore, this model was created to study how palimpsests of occupation affect our social network reconstructions.

The model simplifies inter-groups interactions between populations who share cultural traits as they produce artifacts. It creates a proxy archaeological record of artifacts with stylistic traits that can then be used to reconstruct interactions. One can thus use this model to compare the networks reconstructed through stylistic similarities with direct contact.

The purpose of the model is to investigate how different factors affect the ability of researchers to reconstruct prehistoric social networks from artifact stylistic similarities, as well as the overall diversity of cultural traits observed in archaeological assemblages. Given that cultural transmission and evolution is affected by multiple interacting phenomena, our model allows to simultaneously explore six sets of factors that may condition how social networks relate to shared culture between individuals and groups:

  1. Factors relating to the structure of social groups
  2. Factors relating to the cultural traits in question
  3. Factors relating to individual learning strategies
  4. Factors relating to the environment

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 Least cost path mobility

Claudine Gravel-Miguel Colin Wren | Published Saturday, September 02, 2017 | Last modified Monday, October 04, 2021

This model aims to mimic human movement on a realistic topographical surface. The agent does not have a perfect knowledge of the whole surface, but rather evaluates the best path locally, at each step, thus mimicking imperfect human behavior.

This is a variant of the PaleoscapeABM model available here written by Wren and Janssen. In this variant, we give projectile weapons to hunter and document where they discard them over time. Discard rate and location are influenced by probabilities of hitting/missing the prey, probabilities of damaging the weapon, and probabilities of carrying back embedded projectile armatures to the habitation camp with the body carcass.

Game of Thrones model

Claudine Gravel-Miguel Sean Bergin | Published Sunday, January 03, 2021 | Last modified Sunday, January 03, 2021

This model slowly evolves to become Westeros, with houses fighting for the thrones, and whitewalkers trying to kill all living things. You can download each version to see the evolution of the code, from the Wolf Sheep Predation model to the Game of Thrones model. If you are only interested in the end product, simply download the latest version.

For instructions on each step, see: https://claudinegravelmigu.wixsite.com/got-abm

The model presented here was created as part of my dissertation. It aims to study the impacts of topography and climate change on prehistoric networks, with a focus on the Magdalenian, which is dated to between 20 and 14,000 years ago.

The effect of error on cultural transmission

Claudine Gravel-Miguel | Published Thursday, November 01, 2012 | Last modified Saturday, April 27, 2013

This is the replication of the experiment performed by Eerkens and Lipo (2005) to look at the effect of copying errors when specific traits are transferred from an individual to another.

Under development.

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