The Scandinavian Viking Age and Medieval settlements of Iceland and Greenland have been subject to archaeological research for over a century, and have come to represent two classic cases of survival and collapse in the literature of long-term human ecodynamics. This archaeology has a number of advantages (a great deal of excavation, reasonably good historical records, an engaged populace and well-understood landscapes) but with very few exceptions has been conducted in an inferential/empirical mode exclusively. The purpose of this meeting is to review the modeling efforts in this region to date and discuss profitable ways to employ agent-based modeling (and other modeling techniques) that foreground the coupling between the human social and the natural environmental systems to understand changes through time in settlement poses, resource use, and sociopolitical arrangements. In particular we will explore the extent to which the concepts of evolvability and robustness, defined for some time for metabolic networks, regulatory circuits, and some aspects of genome evolution, have useful analogs in human societies, and if so, how we can develop useful metrics for them, either empirically or through comparison between models and empirical data.
Collins Conference Room
US Mountain Time
Our campus is closed to the public for this event.
Tim Kohler and Margaret Nelson