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Reading the Landscape: a model of environmental legibility for assessing hominid dispersals during the Late Pleistocene.

Author(s): Dario Guiducci

Year: 2016

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Summary

The ability of Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) to successfully navigate complex topographies and variable environments is hypothesized to have been a key adaptation for the long term success of our species, in comparison to other hominid groups. Additionally, the structure of the environment through which human dispersals occurred is arguably important to our understanding of the speed and scale at which population movements occurred. This paper demonstrates a new methodology for quantifying and modelling landscape legibility, an untested aspect of environmental structure adapted from landscape studies.With the aid of case studies from north-eastern Spain, this paper illustrates the logic of a legibility metric based on two dimensions; 1) landscape coherence, which affects the ability to single out significant landmarks useful for guiding navigation; and 2) ease of dispersability, measured by means of a circuitscape model. The paper concludes with a discussion of what the patterns and differences between the study areas mean for Late Pleistocene dispersals in the Western Mediterranean, and how an assessment of legibility fits in with other lines of evidence regarding hominid dispersals more generally.


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Reading the Landscape: a model of environmental legibility for assessing hominid dispersals during the Late Pleistocene.. Dario Guiducci. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404107)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

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