Building Expectations to understand the Evolutionary Significance of Archaeological Assemblages


This is an abstract from the "The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis and Human Origins: Archaeological Perspectives" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Although the past thirty years has witnessed tremendous advances in our understanding of the geographic and temporal scope of the Paleolithic record, we still know remarkably little about the evolutionary and ecological consequences of changes in human behavior. Are there events in human evolution that dramatically change how humans interacted with their surrounding environment? Recent inquiries have suggested that human evolution reflects a long history of interconnections between human behavior and their surrounding ecosystems (e.g. niche construction). Yet developing expectations to identify such phenomena is remarkably difficult. These long-term dynamics require an understanding of emergent phenomena that alter selective pressures over multiple generations. Generative models show remarkable promise for probing these potentially unexpected consequences of human-environment interaction. Here we describe preliminary agent-based models that can be used to develop predictions about how changes in human land use can be detected. In particular, we describe models that can be used to develop expectations for empirical measures of archaeological lithic assemblages. We explore other potential proxies of behavior and how modelling may provide expectations for a variety of different phenomena.

Cite this Record

Building Expectations to understand the Evolutionary Significance of Archaeological Assemblages. David Braun, Tyler Faith, Benjamin Davies, Mitchell Power, Matthew Douglass. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450869)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 9.58; min lat: -35.461 ; max long: 57.041; max lat: 4.565 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25670