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"Modeling complex adaptive systems in Archaeology: Insights and feedbacks from the modeling of past socio-ecosystems"
Workshop of the "ModelAnSet project - Modelling the role of socio-environmental interactions on Ancient Settlement Dynamics", Idex UCA-JEDI « Complex Systems » Academy of Excellence
Timothy A. Kohler (Regents Professor of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, USA), "Modeling in the Village Ecodynamics Project (VEP): What We Did and What We Might Now Do Differently."
Key portions of the VEP were conceived in the mid-1990s though the conception was greatly expanded with VEPII beginning around 2008. I review the main stages of model construction, beginning from agents representing autonomous households solving the problem of how to make a living in an ever-changing environment which they themselves also affected, and recently culminating in scenarios involving agents living in groups on a competitive social landscape in which territoriality and conflict are deeply embedded. I close with the claim that rigorous modeling (including ABMs) is poised to become the only satisfying way to build and test theory in archaeology, and consider what kinds of theory we might want to examine in this light.