Histoire numérique et l’historiographie

A Spatially explicit ABM of Central Place Foraging Theory and its explanatory power for hunter-gatherers settlement patterns formation processes

The behavioural ecological approach to anthropology states that the
density and distribution of resources determine optimal patterns of
resource use and also sets its constraints to grouping, mobility and
settlement choice. Central Place Foraging (CPF) models have been used
for analysing foraging behaviours of hunter-gatherers and to draw a
causal link from the volume of available resources in the environment to
the mobility decisions of hunter-gatherers.
In this study we propose a spatially explicit agent-based CPF mode. We
explore its potential for explaining formation of settlement patterns and
test its robustness to the configuration of space. Building on a model
assuming homogeneous energy distributions we had to add several new
parameters and an adaptation mechanism for foragers to predict the
length of their stay, together with a heterogeneous environment
The validation of the model shows that the spatially explicit CPF is
generally robust to spatial configuration of energy resources. The total
volume of energy has a significant effect on constraining sedentism as
predicted by aspatial model and thus can be used on different
environmental conditions. Still the spatial autocorrelation of resource
distribution has a linear effect on optimal mobility decisions and needs to
be considered in predictive models. The effect on settlement choice is
not substantial and is more determined by other characteristics of
settlement location. This limits the CPF models in analysing settlement
pattern formation processes.

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