R. Bocinsky, Stefani Crabtree, Paul Hooper, Timothy Kohler

Paper #: 15-04-011

Are the processes permitting or requiring increases in sociopolitical scale in Neolithic societies inherently voluntaristic, or coercive? We construct an evolutionary public goods game on top of the “Village” agent-based ecological model in which agents (households) form corporate groups that may subsume other groups in a dominance hierarchy, possibly by force. The model endogenizes rates of regional and group population increase and inter-group competition, which depending on context may or may not be violent. Model outputs can be compared with what is possibly the best-known Neolithic record of settlement and population in the world, that of the Mesa Verde region of Southwest Colorado from AD 600-1280. Voluntaristic and coercive elements are both critical to the model, and, we believe, in the world for which it provides a mediated representation.