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Wednesday, March 30 • 15:55 - 16:20
S17-02 A network model for the evolution of terrestrial connections in Central Italy (1175/1150─500 BC ca)

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A network model for the evolution of terrestrial connections in Central Italy (1175/1150-500 BC ca)

Luce Prignano, Francesca Fulminante, Sergi Lozano, Ignacio Morer

The period between the Final Bronze Age and the Archaic Age is a time of changes and developments in the Italian Peninsula which led to the creation of regional ethnic and political groups and to the formation of the first city-states in Western Europe.

We study the evolution of the interaction patterns among settlements by analysing terrestrial communication networks in Latium Vetus (LV) and Southern Etruria (SE) in several time snapshots.
At a first overall inspection, the two regions appear to be very similar, except for some interesting differences. In order to understand to what extent the observed results are a consequence of either differences on the spatial distribution of settlements, or dissimilarities in the process that generated those networks (cultural and political factors), we design a simple network model. After locating the nodes at the positions we know them from the archaeological record, we start adding links where they are more needed, according to a geographical criterion. The total link length is the only data-derived constraint.
The model reproduces with good accuracy the features of every real network, except for LV in the Early Iron Age, where it systematically underestimate the average shortest path length while overestimating the local efficiency.
Our hypothesis is that this model, that implements an optimal resources (new roads) distribution, cannot reproduce structures shaped by the unbalanced tensions of a harsh competition such as the Latin region of those times. On the contrary, it works fine in the case of a heterarchical system, such SE, or when considering a centralized, hierarchical one, as LV in the Archaic Period. We measured the hierarchicity (Trusina et. al - 2004) of both real and artificial networks as a preliminary test obtaining results compatible with this explanation.

avatar for Mark GROENHUIJZEN


PhD Candidate, VU University Amsterdam

Philip Verhagen

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Wednesday March 30, 2016 15:55 - 16:20 CEST
Domus Media, Auditorium 13