Modelling and simulating Hunter-Gatherer Seafaring in the Americas: ecology, society and watercraft technology in cold aquatic environments

Project Details


One of the major problems archaeologists have yet to address systematically is the development of watercraft and long-distance seafaring,
which is critical for understanding earlier coastal and insular colonization and the emergence of social complexity among small-scale
societies. The HUGASEA project is designed to address the determining factors in organizational and seafaring strategies of aquatic
Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers (HFG) on the Northwest Coast of North America and the Fuego-Patagonia coast of South America. The project
is based in an innovative and interdisciplinary approach: integrating Archaeology, Ethnohistory, Ecology, Computational modelling and
Artificial Intelligence. The project is inherently comparative, as the two regions and their respective internal variation offer the opportunity
to test past interaction among three variables: watercraft technology, environment and social organization (mobility, gender, status,
cultural diversity). Ecological, archaeological and ethnohistorical data will be collected and modelled with GIS-based methods. Then,
Agent-based models (ABM) will be created, validated by Sensitivity Analysis and Machine Learning (Bayesian Belief Networks) against
empirical data, and finally used to geosimulate seafaring HFG in aquatic environments, test hypothesis and predict spatial patterns. The
project will reach expert and non-expert audiences, including Indigenous peoples and young audiences, through a range of dissemination,
communication and outreach activities. The researcher will develop the project on the US Northwest Coast, where he will expand his
experience, research competencies and international networks. All the new knowledge and skills will be transferred back to the European
Host during the incoming phase. Thus, the project will be very productive for both the researcher and the hosts, enhancing the development
of his career as an independent researcher.
Effective start/end date10/10/229/10/25


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