© 2019

Integrating Qualitative and Social Science Factors in Archaeological Modelling

  • Mehdi Saqalli
  • Marc Vander Linden

Part of the Computational Social Sciences book series (CSS)

Also part of the Simulating the Past book sub series (SIPA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Juan A. Barceló, Florencia Del Castillo, Laura Mameli, Franceso J. Miguel, Xavier Vilà
    Pages 55-89
  3. R. Alexander Bentley, Michael J. O’Brien
    Pages 91-108
  4. Florent Le Néchet, Christophe Coupé, Hélène Mathian, Lena Sanders
    Pages 109-135
  5. Francesco Carrer, Graeme Sarson, Andrew Baggaley, Anvar Shukurov, Diego E. Angelucci
    Pages 185-216
  6. Mehdi Saqalli, Marc Vander Linden
    Pages 217-223
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 225-231

About this book


This book covers the methodological, epistemological and practical issues of integrating qualitative and socio-anthropological factors into archaeological modeling. This text fills the gap between conceptual modeling (which usually relies on narratives describing the life of a past community) and formalized/computer-based modeling which are usually environmentally-determined. Methods combining both environmental and social issues through niche and agent-based modeling are presented. These methods help to translate data from paleo-environmental and archaeological society life cycles (such as climate and landscape changes) into the local spatial scale. 

The epistemological discussions will appeal to readers as well as the resilience socio-anthropological factors provide facing climatic fluctuations. Integrating Qualitative and Social Science Factors in Archaeological Modelling will appeal to students and researchers in the field.

  • Features the integration of socio-anthropological factors (such as inheritance or locality) into conceptual modeling;
  • Contains several examples of formalization case studies; each one describing a method dealing with socio-anthropological factors;
  • Includes an epistemological analysis of the way factors are integrated and/or formalized for reducing the gap between environmentally-deterministic and socio-anthropological-formalized modelling.


prehistoric societies and modeling agent based modeling and history socio-anthropological modeling dynamics in human and primate societies model-based archaeology ancestors and algorithms

Editors and affiliations

  • Mehdi Saqalli
    • 1
  • Marc Vander Linden
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 5602 GEODEGéographie de l’Environnement Maison de la Recherche, Université Toulouse 2 Jean JaurèsToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of Cambridge CB2 3DzCambridgeUK

About the editors

Agronomist and doctor in farming systems analysis, Mehdi Saqalli works on rural past and present societies through the use of modelling tools, particularly multi-agent tools, for the understanding of localized dynamics combining socio-anthropological and agro-environmental factors in the future of these societies. Field sites concern several present-time tropical and temperate areas on development issues but also past Neolithic societies in Europe and the Mediterranean area. The aim is to formalize this complexity by articulating spatial, temporal and socio-political scales through the use of dynamic spatialized socio-geographical models.

Marc Vander Linden is a specialist in European Later European prehistory and currently holds a temporary lectureship at the University of Cambridge, where he teaches archaeological methods. His research interests include spatial and temporal variability of material culture, early farming systems, demography, development-led archaeolology, and the use of quantitative and modelling methods. He has run fieldwork in Belgium, Syria, Great Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.   

Bibliographic information


“The volume is most likely to appeal to archaeological modellers who will find interesting case studies with a somewhat wider disciplinary outlook. The aim of generating mutual understanding is, however, commendable, and those non-modellers who venture to pick up a book about modelling and persevere will be afforded valuable insights in the process and merits of striving to integrate qualitative and social science factors into archaeological models.” (Daniël van Helden, Antiquity, Vol. 95, 2021)