Alphagalileo > Item Display
en-GBde-DEes-ESfr-FR

Researchers suggest a new model for analysing the social networks of Prehistory

09/04/2020 Asociación RUVID

The study has been published by prestigious journal Biological Reviews and establishes the basis for a better understanding of the social structure in prehistoric times

The archaeological record contains large data sets that allow us to track cultural changes over thousands of years. This offers a unique opportunity to shed light on the processes of long-term cultural transmission.

This study, published in the prestigious journal Biological Reviews, presents multilevel analytical framework, considering particular aspects of the social structure where regional prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups were integrated. In this way, cultural transmission predictions can be made based on network metrics at a local and global level of small-scale societies, as well as their potential effects on cumulative cultural evolution.

The model represents a major advance as it combines approaches from network science, palaeodemography and cultural evolution, drawing attention to the use of the archaeological record to represent patterns of social interactions and variability of cultural transmission. Such a development will improve the understanding of social interaction patterns and ultimately provide key information on the evolution of human behaviour.

The team responsible for this study is comprised by Valéria Romano and Javier Fernández-López de Pablo, researchers at the UA Institute for Archaeology and Heritage Research, and Sergi Lozano from the UB Department of Economic History, Institutions, Politics and World Economy.

The study has been carried out within the framework of the project PALEODEM - Late Glacial and Postglacial Population History and Cultural Transmission in Iberia”, led by influential researcher from the University of Alicante Javier Fernández-López de Pablo and funded by the European Research Council (ERC), under the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme, with 1.5 million euros.

PALEODEM

With a duration of five years, until September 2021, PALEODEM aims to reproduce the population dynamics between the end of the Magdalenian and the Recent Mesolithic (15,000 to 8,000 years ago) in the Iberian Peninsula, a period that witnessed major climatic and environmental transformations, whose impact on human demography remains unknown.

This project compares different paleo-demographic indicators, with multidisciplinary paleo-environmental reproductions to understand how climatic change at the end of the last glaciation and the beginning of the Holocene affected populations at a local, regional and macro-regional levels. The work also includes network analysis and agent-based computer modelling to study how long-term changes in population density and interrelationships between groups influence transmission processes and cultural evolution.

“A multilevel analytical framework for studying cultural evolution in prehistoric hunter–gatherer societies”, Biological Reviews (April 2020) https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12599
Attached files
  • esearch20team.jpg
09/04/2020 Asociación RUVID
Regions: Europe, Spain
Keywords: Society, Social Sciences, Humanities, Archaeology

Testimonials

For well over a decade, in my capacity as a researcher, broadcaster, and producer, I have relied heavily on Alphagalileo.
All of my work trips have been planned around stories that I've found on this site.
The under embargo section allows us to plan ahead and the news releases enable us to find key experts.
Going through the tailored daily updates is the best way to start the day. It's such a critical service for me and many of my colleagues.
Koula Bouloukos, Senior manager, Editorial & Production Underknown
We have used AlphaGalileo since its foundation but frankly we need it more than ever now to ensure our research news is heard across Europe, Asia and North America. As one of the UK’s leading research universities we want to continue to work with other outstanding researchers in Europe. AlphaGalileo helps us to continue to bring our research story to them and the rest of the world.
Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations at the University of Warwick
AlphaGalileo has helped us more than double our reach at SciDev.Net. The service has enabled our journalists around the world to reach the mainstream media with articles about the impact of science on people in low- and middle-income countries, leading to big increases in the number of SciDev.Net articles that have been republished.
Ben Deighton, SciDevNet

We Work Closely With...


  • BBC
  • The Times
  • National Geographic
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of Cambridge
Copyright 2021 by DNN Corp Terms Of Use Privacy Statement