Palaeolithic Social Networks and Behavioural Modernity

Authors: Gravel-Miguel, C. and Coward, F.

Editors: Brughmans, T., Mills, B., Munson, J. and Peeples, M.

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Place of Publication: Oxford


In this chapter, we discuss some of the challenges researchers face when using formal analysis methods to study Palaeolithic social networks. We also present alternative and complementary methods that can mitigate those challenges; in particular, we argue that agent-based models are useful tools to test formal methods and explore network questions that cannot be answered solely from the archaeological record. We use such a model to show how different social behaviours are reflected in material networks, and to evaluate the accuracy of a popular method to reconstruct Palaeolithic networks. Finally, we identify a number of fruitful areas that could be targeted by Palaeolithic network analysts, as well as questions for which social network analysis techniques may be particularly well suited.

Source: Manual

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