Land use patterns in the arid Eurasia. Models and historical examples


The relation between the main variants of pre-industrial economic production in arid Eurasia, from nomadic pastoralism to irrigated agriculture, is known to have been unstable, with abundant examples of conflict and shifting patterns of land use right up to contemporary times. We present a brief review of our experience using Agent-Based models to identify mechanisms and system dynamics that could help explain the different land use configurations, which have been recorded archaeologically for all periods from the Bronze Age up until the contemporary period.

Our models helped us to explore the conditions for the stabilization of land use, simplified as discrete portions of land reserved to either mobile livestock breeding and sedentary agriculture. Assuming there is a general economic growth, we experiment with different theoretical solutions to how local stakeholders may respond to a basic economic conflict: matching an ever pushing demand with a limited resource. By simulating these mechanisms, we achieved insights on the role of environmental, technological and social constraints in land use dynamics.

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Cite this Record

Land use patterns in the arid Eurasia. Models and historical examples. Andreas Angourakis, Matthieu Salpeteur, Xavier Rubio-Campillo, Bernardo Rondelli, Sebastian Stride. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396990)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;