Kaarel Sikk: Modelling prehistoric settlement patterns using ethnoarchaeological and environmental data

by Kaarel Sikk,
from Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education at the University of Luxembourg

Dear participants, please note that the presentation will start at 2 pm! 


Settlement patterns are one of the central products of the Stone Age archaeological research. Because of long time spans and scarce information, scientific explanations of the patterns are often limited to defining the areas of the phenomena of interest. A lot of deductions about past communities tend to be speculative and often presented as hypotheses in scientific literature.

We can describe the formation process of settlement patterns as a result of two processes involving human choice: mobility and settlement location choice. Both of those choices vary significantly among different time periods and locations.

In current talk I focus on quantitative approaches exploring the causality of those two choice processes. The mobility has been studied by direct ethnographic and economic observations in contemporary societies ranging from hunter-gatherer to urbanized modes of living. Different patterns of mobility have usually been related to economic requirements of people.

Settlement choice is also studied in contemporary societies but archaeological record displays much more varied patterns because of differing technological, social and demographic situation of people throughout the times. Archaeological sources offer good base material for modelling settlement choice throughout times.

In the talk I give overview of different settlement choice models starting from conceptual ones to regression models used to predict site locations. I also introduce ongoing study using Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) as a simulation technique for exploring formation of settlement patterns.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:29/04/2019, 14:00 h – 15:30 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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