Modelling prehispanic Pueblo societies in their ecosystems

Timothy A. Kohler, R. Kyle Bocinsky, Denton Cockburn, Stefani A. Crabtree, Mark D. Varien, Kenneth E. Kolm, Schaun Smith, Scott G. Ortman, Ziad Kobti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We review a suite of agent-based models developed by the Village Ecodynamics Project (VEP) to study ecological, economic, social, and political processes among prehispanic Puebloan (" Anasazi" ) populations in the Northern US Southwest in the context of a dynamic natural environment. Collectively these models shed light on processes that include the local intensification of turkey raising, the emergence of complex societies in this region, and the complete depopulation of the Northern Southwest in the thirteenth-century AD. Quantitative computational modelling contributes to the explanatory goals of a scientific archaeology and such models should eventually provide standards allowing for more rigorous comparison of distinct archaeological sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Modelling
StatePublished - Aug 24 2012


  • Agent-based models
  • Archaeology
  • Evolution of political hierarchy in small-scale societies
  • Exchange in small-scale societies
  • Simulation
  • Specialization in small-scale societies
  • US Southwest
  • Village Ecodynamics Project


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