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Forager Mobility in Constructed Environments

Author(s): W. Haas

Year: 2015

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Summary

As obligate tool users, humans habitually reconfigure material-resource distributions. It is

proposed here that such resource restructuring may have played an important role in shaping

hunter-gatherer mobility decisions and the emergent macro-structure of settlement patterns. This

paper presents a model of hunter-gatherer mobility in which modifications of places, including

the deposition of cultural materials, bias future mobility decisions. With the aid of an agent-based

model, this simple niche-construction model is used to deduce hypotheses for the structure of

hunter-gatherer settlement patterns. The predictions are tested against archaeological data from a

hunter-gatherer settlement system in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru, 7,000-5,000 cal. B.P. Good

agreement is found between the predicted and empirical patterns demonstrating the model's

efficacy. Moreover, the model suggests an explanation for key structural properties of hunter-gatherer settlement systems that, in some cases, may have facilitated the emergence of socioeconomic complexity in human societies.

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Cite this Record

Forager Mobility in Constructed Environments. W. Haas. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395245)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America