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Settlement scaling: simple equation, familiar variables, rich story

Author(s): Jose Lobo

Year: 2017

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The basic mathematical statement of settlement scaling involves a very simple equation (a "power law function") and variables long used in anthropology and archaeology to study the effects of demography on social processes. One could interpret the settlement scaling framework as another instance of the allometric relationship found very widely in the biological realm. But what may be more important is the fact that the framework actually incorporates a lot of accumulated insights from anthropology while leaving out concepts from economics and evolutionary biology that are ill suited to studying pre-modern human societies. This talk will review the assumptions behind the choice of equation and variables and highlight the concepts behind and implications of settlement scaling theory’s mathematical framework.

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Settlement scaling: simple equation, familiar variables, rich story. Jose Lobo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429168)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14614

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