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Socioeconomic Complexity and the Resilience of Hunter-Gatherer Societies

Abstract

Human societies have been challenged by internal and external disturbances throughout
history. However, our knowledge of the dynamics and parameters of their resilience remains
remarkably incomplete. This deficiency is particularly evident for the longest part of our past,
when humans lived as hunter-gatherers.
Following Holling’s adaptive cycle model, we propose an approach to reconstruct socio-
economic developments in hunter-gatherer populations as transitions between different
attractor states of complex adaptive systems, with connectedness as a key concept. This
allows a reinterpretation of the classical ‘simple’–‘complex’ hunter-gatherer dichotomy by
shifting attention to the mechanisms of adaptation and dynamics holding socio-ecologic
systems of hunter-gatherers in tension. Applied to the situation in Europe during the late
Pleistocene, a model explaining the different long-term dynamics observable in the aftermath
of the arrival of the first anatomically modern humans is discussed.

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Bibliography

Solich, M., Brandtmöller, M. (2017): Socioeconomic Complexity and the Resilience of Hunter-Gatherer Societies. Elsevier

Authors Solich, Martin and Brandtmöller, Marcel
Type unpublished
Title Socioeconomic Complexity and the Resilience of Hunter-Gatherer Societies
Year 2017
Publisher Elsevier
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