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Agent-based simulation of holocene monsoon precipitation patterns and Hunter-Gatherer population dynamics in semi-arid environments

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dc.contributor.author Balbo, Andrea Luca
dc.contributor.author Rubio-Campillo, Xavier
dc.contributor.author Rondelli, Bernardo
dc.contributor.author Ramírez, Miquel
dc.contributor.author Lancelotti, Carla
dc.contributor.author Torrano, Alexis
dc.contributor.author Salpeteur, Matthieu
dc.contributor.author Lipovetzky, Nir
dc.contributor.author Reyes-García, Victoria
dc.contributor.author Montañola, Cristina
dc.contributor.author Madella, Marco
dc.date.accessioned 2019-01-08T10:18:17Z
dc.date.available 2019-01-08T10:18:17Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Balbo AL, Rubio-Campillo X, Rondelli B, Ramírez M, Lancelotti C, Torrano A, et al. Agent-based simulation of holocene monsoon precipitation patterns and Hunter-Gatherer population dynamics in semi-arid environments. J Archaeol Method Theory. 2014 Jun;21(2):426-46. DOI: 10.1007/s10816-014-9203-1
dc.identifier.issn 1072-5369
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/36217
dc.description.abstract Based on archaeological evidence from Kutch-Saurashtra (N Gujarat, NW India), we use agent-based modelling (ABM) to explore the persistence of hunter-gatherer (HG) groups in semi-arid environments in the mid and late Holocene. Agents interact within a realistic semi-arid environment dominated by the monsoon. Precipitation trends are modelled from instrumental records (1871–2008) calibrated with existing models for the Asian monsoon in the Holocene (c. 12 ka–present). Experiments aim at exploring dependencies between population dynamics and climate-driven environmental change (in terms of resource availability) for precipitation patterns at the local, regional and continental scales. Resources are distributed across a simplified ground model. Average yearly precipitation (AYP, i.e. mean) and variance in yearly precipitation (VYP, i.e. standard deviation) are the main parameters affecting resource availability in the simulations. We assess the effects of environmental change on HG populations at different timescales: (1) patterns of seasonal (inter-annual) resource availability, (2) effects of changes in mean precipitation trends over the long (Pleistocene–Holocene) and the mid (Holocene, millennial) periods, and (3) effects of intra-annual precipitation variability, i.e. changes in standard deviation from mean precipitation trends over the short period (annual to decadal). Simulations show that (1) strong seasonality is coherent with the persistence of HG populations in India, independently of the geographical scale of the precipitation models, (2) changes in AYP over the mid period (Holocene) are not sufficient to explain the disappearance of HG populations in Kutch-Saurashtra (K-S) 4 ka and (3) precipitation variability (VYP) over the short period (annual to decadal) is the main parameter affecting population performance and overall ecosystem dynamics. To date, sufficiently refined palaeoclimatic records do not exist for the study area, but higher VYP values 4 ka do not exclude the possibility that other factors may have driven the disappearance of HG populations in Kutch-Saurashtra.
dc.description.sponsorship This research has been supported by the SimulPast Project – Consolider Ingenio 2010 (CSD2010-00034, PI M. Madella), funded by the former Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (MICINN). AT, BR, CL, NL, MS and XRC have worked on this paper with contracts from the SimulPast project. AB with a contract from the Juan de la Cierva Program, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Springer
dc.relation.ispartof Journal Archaeological Method and Theory. 2014 Jun;21(2):426-46.
dc.rights © Springer The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10816-014-9203-1
dc.title Agent-based simulation of holocene monsoon precipitation patterns and Hunter-Gatherer population dynamics in semi-arid environments
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10816-014-9203-1
dc.subject.keyword Archaeology
dc.subject.keyword Simulation
dc.subject.keyword Monsoon
dc.subject.keyword Holocene
dc.subject.keyword Kutch-Saurashtra
dc.subject.keyword Gujarat
dc.subject.keyword India
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/3PN/CSD2010-00034
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/acceptedVersion

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