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Agricultural productivity in past societies : Toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses. / Currie, Thomas ; Bogaard, Amy; Cesaretti, Rudolf; Edwards, Neil R.; Francois, Pieter; Holden, Philip; Hoyer, Daniel; Korotayev, Andrey; Manning, Joseph; Moreno Garcia, Juan Carlos; Oyebamiji, Oluwole K.; Petrie, Cameron; Turchin, Peter; Whitehouse, Harvey; Williams, Alice.

In: Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2015, p. 24-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Currie, T, Bogaard, A, Cesaretti, R, Edwards, NR, Francois, P, Holden, P, Hoyer, D, Korotayev, A, Manning, J, Moreno Garcia, JC, Oyebamiji, OK, Petrie, C, Turchin, P, Whitehouse, H & Williams, A 2015, 'Agricultural productivity in past societies: Toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses', Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 24-56. <https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4h29270b#page-1>

APA

Currie, T., Bogaard, A., Cesaretti, R., Edwards, N. R., Francois, P., Holden, P., Hoyer, D., Korotayev, A., Manning, J., Moreno Garcia, J. C., Oyebamiji, O. K., Petrie, C., Turchin, P., Whitehouse, H., & Williams, A. (2015). Agricultural productivity in past societies: Toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses. Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution, 6(1), 24-56. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4h29270b#page-1

Vancouver

Author

Currie, Thomas ; Bogaard, Amy ; Cesaretti, Rudolf ; Edwards, Neil R. ; Francois, Pieter ; Holden, Philip ; Hoyer, Daniel ; Korotayev, Andrey ; Manning, Joseph ; Moreno Garcia, Juan Carlos ; Oyebamiji, Oluwole K. ; Petrie, Cameron ; Turchin, Peter ; Whitehouse, Harvey ; Williams, Alice. / Agricultural productivity in past societies : Toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses. In: Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution. 2015 ; Vol. 6, No. 1. pp. 24-56.

Bibtex

@article{9ba47110fe9d4c35a75117fcad4ffe3d,
title = "Agricultural productivity in past societies: Toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses",
abstract = "Agricultural productivity, and its variation in space and time, plays a fundamental role in many theories of human social evolution. However, we often lack systematic information about the productivity of past agricultural systems on a large enough scale in order to be able to test these theories properly. The effect of climate on crop yields has received a great deal of attention resulting in a range of empirical and process-based models, yet the focus has primarily been on current or future conditions. In this paper, we argue for a “bottom-up” approach that estimates productivity, or potential productivity based on information about the agricultural practices and technologies used in past societies. Of key theoretical interest is using this information to estimate the carrying capacity of a given region, independently of estimates of population size. We outline how explicit crop yield models can be combined with high quality historical and archaeological information about past societies, in order to infer the temporal and geographic patterns of change in agricultural productivity and potential. We discuss the kinds of information we need to collect about agricultural techniques and practices in the past, and introduce a new databank initiative we have developed for collating the best available historical and archaeological evidence. A key benefit of our approach lies in making explicit the steps in the process of estimating past productivities and carrying capacities, and in being able to assess the effects of different modelling assumptions. This is undoubtedly an ambitious task, yet promises to provide important insights into fundamental aspects of past societies, and will enable us to test more rigorously key hypotheses about human socio-cultural evolution.",
author = "Thomas Currie and Amy Bogaard and Rudolf Cesaretti and Edwards, {Neil R.} and Pieter Francois and Philip Holden and Daniel Hoyer and Andrey Korotayev and Joseph Manning and {Moreno Garcia}, {Juan Carlos} and Oyebamiji, {Oluwole K.} and Cameron Petrie and Peter Turchin and Harvey Whitehouse and Alice Williams",
year = "2015",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "24--56",
journal = "Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution",
issn = "2373-7530",
publisher = "University of California eScholarship Repository",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Agricultural productivity in past societies

T2 - Toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses

AU - Currie, Thomas

AU - Bogaard, Amy

AU - Cesaretti, Rudolf

AU - Edwards, Neil R.

AU - Francois, Pieter

AU - Holden, Philip

AU - Hoyer, Daniel

AU - Korotayev, Andrey

AU - Manning, Joseph

AU - Moreno Garcia, Juan Carlos

AU - Oyebamiji, Oluwole K.

AU - Petrie, Cameron

AU - Turchin, Peter

AU - Whitehouse, Harvey

AU - Williams, Alice

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Agricultural productivity, and its variation in space and time, plays a fundamental role in many theories of human social evolution. However, we often lack systematic information about the productivity of past agricultural systems on a large enough scale in order to be able to test these theories properly. The effect of climate on crop yields has received a great deal of attention resulting in a range of empirical and process-based models, yet the focus has primarily been on current or future conditions. In this paper, we argue for a “bottom-up” approach that estimates productivity, or potential productivity based on information about the agricultural practices and technologies used in past societies. Of key theoretical interest is using this information to estimate the carrying capacity of a given region, independently of estimates of population size. We outline how explicit crop yield models can be combined with high quality historical and archaeological information about past societies, in order to infer the temporal and geographic patterns of change in agricultural productivity and potential. We discuss the kinds of information we need to collect about agricultural techniques and practices in the past, and introduce a new databank initiative we have developed for collating the best available historical and archaeological evidence. A key benefit of our approach lies in making explicit the steps in the process of estimating past productivities and carrying capacities, and in being able to assess the effects of different modelling assumptions. This is undoubtedly an ambitious task, yet promises to provide important insights into fundamental aspects of past societies, and will enable us to test more rigorously key hypotheses about human socio-cultural evolution.

AB - Agricultural productivity, and its variation in space and time, plays a fundamental role in many theories of human social evolution. However, we often lack systematic information about the productivity of past agricultural systems on a large enough scale in order to be able to test these theories properly. The effect of climate on crop yields has received a great deal of attention resulting in a range of empirical and process-based models, yet the focus has primarily been on current or future conditions. In this paper, we argue for a “bottom-up” approach that estimates productivity, or potential productivity based on information about the agricultural practices and technologies used in past societies. Of key theoretical interest is using this information to estimate the carrying capacity of a given region, independently of estimates of population size. We outline how explicit crop yield models can be combined with high quality historical and archaeological information about past societies, in order to infer the temporal and geographic patterns of change in agricultural productivity and potential. We discuss the kinds of information we need to collect about agricultural techniques and practices in the past, and introduce a new databank initiative we have developed for collating the best available historical and archaeological evidence. A key benefit of our approach lies in making explicit the steps in the process of estimating past productivities and carrying capacities, and in being able to assess the effects of different modelling assumptions. This is undoubtedly an ambitious task, yet promises to provide important insights into fundamental aspects of past societies, and will enable us to test more rigorously key hypotheses about human socio-cultural evolution.

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 24

EP - 56

JO - Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution

JF - Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution

SN - 2373-7530

IS - 1

ER -