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Resource Structure, Economic Defendability, and Conflict in Rapa Nui and Rapa Iti, East Polynesia – an agent-based modeling approach

Author(s): Robert DiNapoli ; Terry Hunt ; Alex Morrison ; Brian Lane ; Carl Lipo

Year: 2016

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Summary

East Polynesian populations are closely related both culturally and genetically, yet their islands are environmentally diverse. The common ancestry and strong environmental differences make East Polynesia uniquely suited to the study of divergent sociocultural evolution. Following human colonization, populations diverged in subsistence practices, settlement patterns, ritual architecture, intensity of competition, and social organization. Here we explore differences in the intensity of conflict on two marginal East Polynesian islands – Rapa Iti and Rapa Nui – where conflict and territoriality varied dramatically. We argue that a human behavioral ecology ‘economic defendability’ model (EDM) explains these differences. EDM predicts degrees of territoriality will emerge in ecological settings where resources are both dense and predictable. We test these predictions using an agent-based model incorporating archaeological data on the location and productivity of subsistence resources examining the explanatory expectations of the EDM.


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Resource Structure, Economic Defendability, and Conflict in Rapa Nui and Rapa Iti, East Polynesia – an agent-based modeling approach. Robert DiNapoli, Terry Hunt, Alex Morrison, Brian Lane, Carl Lipo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403152)


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min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

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