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Thursday, March 31 • 14:20 - 14:45
S02-11 Least cost path analysis and conditional perception of prehistoric travelers

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Least Cost Path Analysis and Conditional Perception of Prehistoric Travelers

Tsoni Kolev Tsonev

The present study focusses on the unexplored so far relation between the possibilities of Least Cost Path analyses (GIS) to explore higher order prehistoric human behavior such as ‘conditional’ perception. It compares the least cost path relative to the slope of the terrain for supply with long blades of the Neolithic populations in Bulgaria to the most difficult one. It was found out that the easiest way for travelling encounters two anomalies (mismatch) of the symbolic complexes of foreign, public and private (house) domains of these prehistoric communities. 

The explanations for this complex human behavior are sought in the theory of perception. It helps to answer the question why in present day’s countryside the old dirt roads tend to make unexpected turns when linking two adjacent small villages. My working hypothesis relies on the following steps of analysis based on theoretical understanding of human perception and establishing epistemic relations. First I will provide a formalized, ideal variant of establishing such a relation by the way of introducing an impossible world into the state of real ones (combining disjunctive and conditional options). On this ground I argue that a more realistic option is the use of absolute and conditional probabilities for reaching an agreement between two or more parties that use symbolic representations of various materials and objects. The next step is to fit the scatterplot between the values from the example with absolute and conditional probabilities with the corresponding values of scale dependent exponents which show explicitly a fractal-like behavior. 

On this ground I provide additional archaeological examples from Bulgarian Neolithic that show the distribution of various artefacts made of precious rocks. Unlike traditional archaeological explanation schemes which state that within the territory of distribution of an archaeological culture the mismatch of symbolic representations is rare I find them that they are ubiquitous. These empirical data fit well with my theoretical considerations which open a real possibility for novel approach to studies of archaeological record that will help gaining better understanding of human behavior from the remote past.

Thursday March 31, 2016 14:20 - 14:45 CEST
Domus Media, Aulaen

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