The CSS seminar speaker for Friday, February 27 will be Yang Zhou, PhD Student, Computational Social Science, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University. Yang’s talk, entitled “The Origin of Agriculture in the Peiligang Culture: An Agent-based Modeling Approach” (abstract below), is scheduled to begin at 3:00 in the Center for Social Complexity Suite located on the 3rd floor of Research Hall. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session along with light refreshments.
This session will be live-streamed on the newly created CSS program YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7YCR-pBTZ_9865orDNVHNA
Abstract: The emergence of agriculture played an important role in human history as it allowed people to move from a nomadic (i.e. hunter-gather) to a sedentary (i.e. agricultural) lifestyle. This shift in lifestyle not only provided abundant food, but also sufficient numbers of non-cultivating specialists, which are necessary conditions for the rise of a civilization. However, questions about how and why agriculture originated have remained controversial. This paper explores the origin hypotheses of agriculture, using the canonical theory of social complexity as a framework to study the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies in the region of the Peiligang in China based on existing literature, and develops an agent-based model to simulate the transition process. The model assumes that a combination of population growth and gaining knowledge on plants drove the transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculture. Results show that based on the basic hypotheses and assumptions, the model is able to generate the key phases that are identical with the existing literature on such a transaction.
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