Title: Assessing human migrations in lowland South America through Agent-Based Models (ABMs)
Speaker: Gregorio de Souza (University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona)
Date: Thursday, 29 October, 12:00
Venue: Zoom, Link will be published on the day before the talk
In this talk, I examine the expansion of major archaeological cultures related to the largest language families in lowland South America during the late Holocene, testing whether they can be modelled as demic diffusion processes. Spatial gradients in the radiocarbon dates of each culture were analysed through space-time regressions, allowing for the identification of geographical centers of origin, times and speeds of expansion. To further assess the feasibility of demic diffusion as the process behind the archaeological expansions in question, agent-based simulations were developed with demographic parameters derived from the ethnography of tropical forest farmers. The results show that, while some cultural expansions can be realistically modeled as demographic processes, others are not so easily explained in the same manner, possibly because different processes (such as cultural diffusion) drove their dispersal or due to incomplete archaeological data.