Simulating the Long House Valley: An evaluation of the role of agent-based computer simulation in archaeology
|Simulating the Long House Valley: An evaluation of the role of agent-based computer simulation in archaeology
|Year of Publication
|University of Arizona
This study presents the results of a detailed analysis of an agent-based computer simulation called Artificial Anasazi. The simulation attempts to replicate the population growth and settlement patterns of the prehistoric Kayenta Anasazi of Long House Valley in northeastern Arizona between A.D. 400-1300. Agent-based simulations model social evolution from the bottom-up, using heterogeneous agents that follow simple rules, in contrast to the top-down computer simulations usually used by archaeologists. Artificial Anasazi is tested against the archaeological record of the real Long House Valley through both qualitative and quantitative methods, and an analysis of the relevant ethnographic information is presented. The ultimate goal of this study is to elucidate the potentials and pitfalls of using agent-based computer simulation as a serious research tool in archaeology.