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The Emergence of Cultural Consensus in Hunter-Gatherers: Towards a Computer Model of Ethnogenesis in the Past

Author(s): Juan Barcelo ; Florencia Del Castillo Bernal

Year: 2017

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Summary

In this contribution we present the results of a computer simulation of an "artificial society", implemented to understand how cultural identities and cultural standardization may have emerged in a prehistoric hunter-gatherer society as a consequence of restricted cooperation. The aim of the model is to explain how diversity and self-identification may have emerged in the small-scale societies of our prehistoric past. The computer model explores some possible consequences of theoretical assumptions about cooperation, communal hunting and cultural diversity and the process of ethnogenesis. We have not modelled the decision process from the point of view of individuals, but at the level of the population, modelling social dynamics as a set of factors that constrain social actions. The agent does not decide as a rational individual, but probabilities for action at each cycle are taken into account as soon as local conditions change. Computer results are then compared to ethnoarchaeological data from Patagonia to evaluate the explanatory capability of the theoretical model.


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The Emergence of Cultural Consensus in Hunter-Gatherers: Towards a Computer Model of Ethnogenesis in the Past. Juan Barcelo, Florencia Del Castillo Bernal. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430839)


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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14598

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