Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2019 → Archaeological Approaches to Population Growth and Social Interaction in Semiarid Environments : Pattern, Process, and Feedbacks

Arizona State University (ASU) 2019

Archaeological Approaches to Population Growth and Social Interaction in Semiarid Environments : Pattern, Process, and Feedbacks

Gauthier, Nicolas

Titre : Archaeological Approaches to Population Growth and Social Interaction in Semiarid Environments : Pattern, Process, and Feedbacks

Auteur : Gauthier, Nicolas

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2019

Résumé
Population growth, social interaction, and environmental variability are interrelated facets of the same complex system. Tracing the flow of food, water, information, and energy within these social-ecological systems is essential for understanding their long-term behavior. Leveraging an archaeological perspective of how past societies coevolved with their natural environments will be critical to anticipating the impact of impending climate change on farming communities in the developing world. However, there is currently a lack of formal, quantitative theory rooted in first principles of human behavior that can predict the empirical regularities of the archaeological record in semiarid regions. Through a series of models — statistical, computational, and mathematical — and empirical data from two long-term archaeological case studies in the pre-Hispanic American Southwest and Roman North Africa, I explore the feedbacks between population growth and social interaction in water-limited agrarian societies. First, I use a statistical model to analyze a database of 7.5 million artifacts collected from nearly 500 archaeological sites in the Southwest and found that sites located in different climatic zones were more likely to interact with one another than a sites occupying the same zone. Next, I develop a computational model of demography and food production in ancient agrarian societies and, using North Africa as a motivating example, show how the concrete actions and interactions of millions of individual people lead to emergent patterns of population growth and stability. Finally, I build a simple mathematical model of trade and migration among agricultural settlements to determine how the relative costs and benefits of social interaction drive population growth and shape long-term settlement patterns. Together, these studies form the foundation for a unified quantitative approach to regional social-ecological systems. By combining theory and methods from ecology, geography, and climate science, archaeologists can better leverage insights from diverse times and places to fill critical knowledge gaps in the study of food security and sustainability in the drylands of toda

Sujets : Archaeology / Climate change / Systems science

Présentation

Version intégrale (10,0 Mb)

Page publiée le 15 janvier 2020