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Boundary Conditions for Paleolithic Social Systems: A Simulation Approach

  • H. Martin Wobst (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Pleistocene societies are viewed in this paper as manifestations of band society from which Paleolithic archaeologists can generate hypotheses about this cultural system and against which they can evaluate the validity of general cultural explanations. A general model is posited toward the isolation of Paleolithic societies in the archaeological record. Their numerical size is predicted from Monte Carlo simulations of model populations, and ways are discussed in which distinguishable equilibrium states of such societies can be predicted in time and space. Under the assumption of maximal constraints, simulations are used to predict the size and longevity of social units. The frequency of settlements produced during an equilibrium state of a society is simulated and the utility of survey for activity areas outside the settlements is demonstrated. The models developed in this paper are intended to stimulate deductive research in Paleolithic archaeology.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
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