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From Narratives to Algorithms: Extending Archaeological Explanation beyond Archaeology

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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

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

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  • 2009