CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Phase 1 - Research activities 2016-2020

A2: Integrative Modelling of Socio-Environmental System Dynamics

Principal Investigators: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Oliver Nakoinz, Prof. dr. Rainer Duttmann
Staff: Dr. Daniel Knitter, Wolfgang Hamer, Ricarda Braun

Research agenda

Selected study areas for the first analytical steps
Fig. 1. Selected study areas for the first analytical steps.

The development of an integrative modelling framework to analyze and simulate the spatial and temporal dynamics of transformation, adaptation and reorganization processes in human-nature environments of prehistoric and archaic societies constitutes the main focus of project A2. Based on the data and expert knowledge gained conceptual and computerized models will be set up  in order to simulate the spatio-temporal patterns of development and transformation processes in human-organized landscapes in Europe and the Mediterranean.

Research activities

In the first years of the CRC 1266 we developed different open-source packages for the statistical computing language R (Fig. 1).

Pakete der ModellierungssuiteFig. 1. Packages of the modeling suite.

In combination these packages form a modeling suite that can be applied to various contexts, in particular the identification and investigation of transformation processes (Fig. 2).

Anwendung der Modellierungssuite Fig. 2. Exemplary application of modeling suite. (Knitter et al., accepted)

The theoretical reflection on our research agenda lead us to an understanding of models as heuristic devices. They complement data and narratives from the different disciplines involved in the CRC (cooperation with A1; Fig. 3).

Reflective TurnFig. 3. Reflective Turn Box.

The model suite allows to test different scenarios of interaction between societies and environment (cooperation with D1; Dal Corso et al. 2019; Fig. 4).

Modellierung der Holzverfügbarkeit Fig. 4. Scenario based modeling of wood availability for the mega site Maidanetske. (Dal Corso et al. 2019)

First results of applications of the model suite showed that transformations take place on different social, spatial, and temporal scales (cooperation with C1; Knitter et al. 2019).

Raumzeitliche DynamikFig. 5. Spatio-temporal dynamics represented in the density of different archaeological findings throughout different transformation phases. (Knitter et al. 2019)

Besides this, we could also show (Knitter et al., accepted) that transformation drivers like innovation that coincide with environmental changes (independent whether these occur as triggers or reactions) can be traced using our models and fit to other proxies (Fig. 6). However, the space, where these changes occur was not limiting and hence subsequent dynamics should not be reduced to environmental limitations or natural determining factors (Fig. 7).

Möglichkeiten der Modellierungssuite
Fig. 6. The various possibilities of the modeling suite: Vegetation reconstruction, land use modeling, and reconstruction of gathered plants and hunted animals for the different transformation phases of the Neolithic Oldenburger Graben. (Knitter et al., accepted)

Modellierte Landnutzungsflächen Fig. 7. Modeled land use areas for crops and pasture during different transformation phases of the Neolithic Oldenburger Graben. (Knitter et al., accepted)

New Publications