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Systems 2016, 4(2), 18; doi:10.3390/systems4020018

Systems of Interaction between the First Sedentary Villages in the Near East Exposed Using Agent-Based Modelling of Obsidian Exchange

1
Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat de Girona, pl. Ferrater Mora 1, Girona 17071, Spain
2
Institución Milá y Fontanals, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Egipcíaques, 15, Barcelona 08001, Spain
3
Grup de Física Estadística, Departament de Física, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Cerdanyola, Spain
4
UMR 7264—Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique—Culture et Environnements Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge, 24 avenue des Diables Bleus, Nice 06357, France
5
Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistóricas de Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria, Edificio Interfacultativo, Avda. de los Castros, s/n, Santander 39005, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Koen H. van Dam and Rémy Courdier
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agent-Based Modelling of City Systems)
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Abstract

In the Near East, nomadic hunter-gatherer societies became sedentary farmers for the first time during the transition into the Neolithic. Sedentary life presented a risk of isolation for Neolithic groups. As fluid intergroup interactions are crucial for the sharing of information, resources and genes, Neolithic villages developed a network of contacts. In this paper we study obsidian exchange between Neolithic villages in order to characterize this network of interaction. Using agent-based modelling and elements taken from complex network theory, we model obsidian exchange and compare results with archaeological data. We demonstrate that complex networks of interaction were established at the outset of the Neolithic and hypothesize that the existence of these complex networks was a necessary condition for the success and spread of a new way of living. View Full-Text
Keywords: archaeology; Near East; Early Neolithic; farming economy; obsidian trade; complex networks archaeology; Near East; Early Neolithic; farming economy; obsidian trade; complex networks
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ortega, D.; Ibáñez, J.J.; Campos, D.; Khalidi, L.; Méndez, V.; Teira, L. Systems of Interaction between the First Sedentary Villages in the Near East Exposed Using Agent-Based Modelling of Obsidian Exchange. Systems 2016, 4, 18.

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