seibalSim: toward modeling communities (not populations) of Early Formative Mesoamerica


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2021: General Sessions" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

In "The Forms of Capital," Pierre Bourdieu writes: “[t]he social world is accumulated history, and if it is not to be reduced to a discontinuous series of instantaneous mechanical equilibria between agents who are treated as interchangeable particles, one must reintroduce into it the notion of capital and with it, accumulation and all its effects.” His attempt was to get away from over-simplifications of community interactions in efforts to represent and then make use of the representations of anthropologically studied communities. In archaeology, however, it is still common practice to make use of precisely the kinds of reductionistic models that Bourdieu criticizes in creating representations of human population interactions with their environments. Through object-oriented programming and agent-based modeling, we have constructed a simulator for exploring village interactions of Early Formative Period Mesoamerica. In this paper, we present preliminary results of our efforts to incorporate a Bourdieu-inspired critique into villager: an in-house R library for simulating ancient villages.

Cite this Record

seibalSim: toward modeling communities (not populations) of Early Formative Mesoamerica. Gerardo Aldana, Marcus Thomson, Thomas Thelen, Toni Gonzalez. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467799)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 33557