Simulating Human Agropastoral Activities Using Hybrid Agent-Landscape Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Approach
"Landuse and Landscape Socioecology in the Mediterranean Basin: A Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Long-Term Interaction of Human and Natural Systems."
This international, interdisciplinary research project models the long-term dynamics of human landuse and Mediterranean landscapes. Beginning in Fall 2004, modeling efforts have focused on eastern Spain and western Jordan, encompassing much of the range of environmental variability across the Mediterranean region.
The project examines long-term socioecological processes that shaped Mediterranean landscapes from the beginning of farming to the beginning of complex civilization.
The static, fragmentary archaeological record requires us to construct models of the human past. Traditionally, these have been narratives that make compelling stories but are difficult to evaluate. Recent advances in geospatial and agent-based modeling technology offers the potential to create quantitative models of human systems, but also challenge us to conceive of human societies in ways that can be expressed in algorithmic form. Besides making our own explanations more robust, integrating such quantitative modeling into archaeological practice can produce more useful accounts of human systems and their long-term dynamics for other disciplines and policy makers.|abstract