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Modeling Ancient Settlement Systems (MASS)

"Until recently, debates concerning humans and their environment tended to favor either cultural or environmental mechanisms as the driving force behind change, but the most persuasive studies now focus on the interface between human/cultural systems as well as interactions between them. We have proposed that early urban settlements in the Near East provide an ideal laboratory for the study of human-environmental interactions because they offer an enormous array of data drawn from archaeological and textual studies that can be incorporated into an overall social, economic, and environmental analytical framework stretching over several millennia. We are engaged in modeling and attempt to explain trajectories of development and demise of Bronze Age settlement systems for both the rain-fed and irrigated zones of Syria and Iraq. Climate, hydrological, agricultural, demographic, and active agent social models are being combined using Argonne''s Dynamic Information Architecture System (DIAS) simulation framework to provide a new holistic dynamic object model. The goal is to determine under what conditions urbanization or its opposite, ruralization or even collapse, might have taken place..."

Format:  Website
Publisher:  The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Publication City:  Chicago
Date:  2004