A Computational Approach to Initial Social Complexity: Göbekli Tepe and Neolithic Polities in Urfa Region, Upper Mesopotamia, Tenth Millennium BC
Extensive archaeological field work and multidisciplinary research in recent decades shows that communities of sedentary hunter-gatherers during the tenth millenium BC built the earliest presently known monumental structures during the PPNA (ca. 9600–8800 BC) at the ceremonial site of Göbekli Tepe and nearby PPNB settlement sites in present-day Urfa province, southeastern Turkey. However, the earliest evidence of agriculture dates to a later period (early PPNB, ca. 8750 BC, terminus post quem) or began further south (e.g., the Levant). We present a novel computational analysis of initial social complexity in these early Anatolian communities, based on Canonical Theory of politogenesis, evolutionary dynamics, and lines of evidence drawn from Göbekli Tepe and related Urfa sites. Theory and data are then used to create an agent-based model simulating the emergence of worship sites, other diffused cultural patterns, and the emergence of cultivation as may have occurred in the region during the PPNA and initial PPNB periods. The model is implemented in NetLogo. Along with other computational models of early social complexity, it aims to contribute to multidisciplinary understanding of prehistory, origins of civilization, and long-term culture change. Extensions of the model to other regions of politogenesis are also discussed. Dedicated to Klaus Schmidt.
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A Computational Approach to Initial Social Complexity: Göbekli Tepe and Neolithic Polities in Urfa Region, Upper Mesopotamia, Tenth Millennium BC. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Niloofar Bagheri-Jebelli. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442644)
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min long: 34.277; min lat: 13.069 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 42.94 ;
Abstract Id(s): 18864