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See detailA Spatially explicit ABM of Central Place Foraging Theory and its explanatory power for hunter-gatherers settlement patterns formation processes
Sikk, Kaarel UL; Caruso, Geoffrey UL

in Adaptive Behavior (2020)

The behavioural ecological approach to anthropology states that the density and distribution of resources determine optimal patterns of resource use and also sets its constraints to grouping, mobility and ... [more ▼]

The behavioural ecological approach to anthropology states that the density and distribution of resources determine optimal patterns of resource use and also sets its constraints to grouping, mobility and settlement choice. Central Place Foraging (CPF) models have been used for analysing foraging behaviours of hunter-gatherers and to draw a causal link from the volume of available resources in the environment to the mobility decisions of hunter-gatherers. In this study we propose a spatially explicit agent-based CPF mode. We explore its potential for explaining formation of settlement patterns and test its robustness to the configuration of space. Building on a model assuming homogeneous energy distributions we had to add several new parameters and an adaptation mechanism for foragers to predict the length of their stay, together with a heterogeneous environment configuration. The validation of the model shows that the spatially explicit CPF is generally robust to spatial configuration of energy resources. The total volume of energy has a significant effect on constraining sedentism as predicted by aspatial model and thus can be used on different environmental conditions. Still the spatial autocorrelation of resource distribution has a linear effect on optimal mobility decisions and needs to be considered in predictive models. The effect on settlement choice is not substantial and is more determined by other characteristics of settlement location. This limits the CPF models in analysing settlement pattern formation processes. [less ▲]

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