Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

HomininSpace – a large scale simulation system for hominins in the past

HomininSpace is an agent based modelling and simulation system in which fluctuating carrying capacity is the key attractor for hominin dispersal. A parameterized and spatially explicit reconstructed palaeo-environment models available energy in the form of secondary biomass using reconstructed climate variables.

Duration
2014  -   2018
Contact
Fulco Scherjon

Project description

The purpose of the model underlying the HS simulation system is to simulate hominin population dynamics in a realistic landscape under varying environmental conditions representative of those encountered in the past for the simulation period. Simulation results are used to explore how different parameters influence dispersal characteristics of the population. Individual groups are steered through the landscape following available energy in the form of edible ungulates. The model validity is assessed by comparing simulated population distributions through time versus archaeological presence and absence data for given points in space and time (dated archaeological sites). A better match indicates a ‘better’ model, one that is more likely to represent hominin behavior in the past. The results are used to evaluate the effect of different parameters and to find optimal parameter configurations. The implemented tool is an extension of the repertoire for researchers interested in past complex societies and is intended to be used in an explorative manner. The model is implemented in Repast Simphony 2.1 and code is written in the Java module. The model is available upon request from Fulco.scherjon@arch.leidenuniv.nl.

Using simulations to assess validity of implemented hypotheses.
Using simulations to assess validity of implemented hypotheses.

HomininSpace – a large scale simulation system for hominins in the past

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