Publications


Flexibility versus Specialization - Complex Adaptive Behavioral Systems of Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherers in Northern Spain

Abstract

Presentation given at the
21st annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists
2-5 September 2015
University of Glasgow, Scotland

Transformations of behavioral patterns in past hunter-gatherer societies constitute major historical events. Environmental deterministic explanations of those changes underestimate different capacities of hunter-gatherer societies to deal with alterations of environmental conditions. By using an agent-based model of ideal-typical hunter-gatherers, the here proposed paper illustrates first how the concept of adaptive cycles can be beneficial for understanding of behavioral transformations among hunter-gatherers. Based on a theoretical model emphasizing interdependences between behavioral strategies like mobility and cooperation, the specifics of adaptation processes among hunter-gatherers and resilience of behavioral ‘systems’ are analyzed. Especially relevant for the degree of resilience are adaptation processes directing towards an increasing specialization. Specialization may in some cases support system’s resilience. Usually, however, specialization is assumed to reduce the behavioral flexibility that is believed to have a positive effect on resilience. In such cases a trend of specialization can actually increase the vulnerability and therefore the probability of a behavioral system’s collapse and the subsequent need to reorganize into a new effective one.

To demonstrate the practicability of the described model for archaeological research, the model is tested furthermore for the case of Pleistocene hunter-gatherers in Northern Spain who show a number of considerable changes in behavioral patterns. With limited success, it has been attempted to explain these processes of changes by models like the Repeated Replacement Model (see Bradtmoeller et al. 2012 and Schmidt et al.2012). Turning to the resilience of the observable behavioral systems provides here a promising alternative.

Resources

pptx Glasgow 2015 ohne videos.pptx Accessed 47 times | Last updated 06.03.2017
pdf Glasgow 2015.pdf Accessed 40 times | Last updated 06.03.2017

Bibliography

Solich, M., Bradtmöller, M., Arrizabalaga, A., Calvo, A., Iriarte, M. (2015): Flexibility versus Specialization - Complex Adaptive Behavioral Systems of Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherers in Northern Spain. University of Cologne, University of Basque Country

Authors Solich, Martin and Bradtmöller, Marcel and Arrizabalaga, Alvaro and Calvo, Aitor and Iriarte, María-José
Type presentation
Title Flexibility versus Specialization - Complex Adaptive Behavioral Systems of Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherers in Northern Spain
Year 2015
Organization University of Cologne, University of Basque Country
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