How do we avoid imposing the present on the past when modelling spatial interactions?

  • Ray J. Rivers Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • Tim S. Evans Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Keywords: networks, exchange, MaxEnt, city states, trade, Bronze Age Assyria

Abstract

Theoretical archaeological modelling for describing spatial interactions often adopts contemporary socioeconomic ideas whose 20th-century language gets translated into historical behaviour with the simplest of lexicons. This can lead to the impression that the past is like the present. Our intention in this paper is that, when this happens, we strip out as much of the contemporary context as we can, to bring modelling back to basic epistemic propositions. We suggest that although the underlying ontology may be specific to contemporary society the epistemology has much greater generality, leading to essentially the same conclusions without the carapace of intricate economics.

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Published
2020-12-02
How to Cite
RiversR. J., & EvansT. S. (2020). How do we avoid imposing the present on the past when modelling spatial interactions?. Documenta Praehistorica, 47, 462-475. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.47.26
Section
Articles