Tomorrow at the EAA virtual conference I will present in session 487: A NETWORK FOR AGENT-BASED MODELLING OF SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL
SYSTEMS IN ARCHAEOLOGY (NASA).
I will be presenting seven claims about why we should simulate Roman economies. And if you’re not into Romans, that’s OK: the claims are very generalisable to all of archaeology 🙂
The presentation will be based on a paper that is in print, in an entire volume dedicated to simulating Roman economies. Check out the preprint of the paper on Academia.
And if you can’t wait, here’s the seven claims already 🙂
- Formal modelling and computational simulation are necessary techniques for explicitly representing our complicated theories (or aspects of them), and for testing them against historical and archaeological evidence.
- Complex systems simulation is the only suitable approach for identifying emergent properties in complex systems.
- The Roman economy was a highly complex system. Theories describing this system are necessarily extremely complicated.
- Building complicated models is a step-by-step cumulative process, where simplification is key.
- Simulation should be integrated as one of our tools of the trade. This is an addition to and enrichment of current practice; it is not in conflict with current practice.
- There are many different and competing views on the nature of the Roman economy. Simulation studies will enhance constructive multivocality of these theoretical debates.
- Good simulation studies of the Roman economy necessarily rely on collaboration across specialisms (where simulation is a specialism in the same way as ceramology or osteology). Encouraging this means integrating the basics of simulation approaches into education in classical studies.
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