Using the maximal entropy modeling approach to analyze the evolution of sedentary agricultural societies in Northeast China

Ido Wachtel*, Royi Zidon, Gideon Shelach-Lavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emergence of agriculture and the evolution of sedentary societies are among the most important processes in human history. However, although archeologists and social scientists have long been studying these processes, our understanding of them is still limited. This article focuses on the Fuxin area in present-day Liaoning province in Northeast China. A systematic archeological survey we conducted in Fuxin in recent years located sites from five successive stages of the evolution of agricultural sedentary society. We used the principles of Maximal Entropy to study changes in settlement patterns during a long-term local trajectory, from the incipient steps toward a sedentary agricultural way of life to the emergence of complex societies. Based on the detailed data collected in the field, we developed a geo-statistical model based on Maximal Entropy (MaxEnt) that characterizes the locational choices of societies during different periods. This combination of high-resolution information on the location and density of archeological remains, along with a maximal entropy-based statistical model, enabled us to chart the long-term trajectory of the interactions between human societies and their natural environment and to better understand the different stages of the transition to developed sedentary agricultural society.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number307
JournalEntropy
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by authors.

Keywords

  • Locational modelling
  • MaxEnt
  • Maximal entropy
  • Neolithic
  • Northeast china
  • Settlement patterns
  • Transition to agriculture

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