The project aims to apply spatial dynamic modelling to reconstruct and understand the development of the cultural landscape in the Dutch part of the Roman Limes (Figure 1). It focuses on modelling economic and spatial relations between the Roman army and the local population, in particular the interaction between agriculture, animal husbandry and wood management, and the related development of settlement patterns and transport networks in the area.
Spatial dynamic modelling can assist in interpreting past landscape development. It is a computer technique for building rule-based models that will simulate spatial processes – like the development of land use – through time. In this way, cause-and-effect chains will become more transparent. It can also tell us whether developments inevitably lead in a certain direction (path dependence), and if different scenarios produce similar outcomes (equifinality). The Dutch Limes zone is one of the archaeologically best researched areas in the world. It is therefore an ideal laboratory area to construct new models of the development of the cultural landscape.
In the project, we specifically want to investigate at the micro- and macro-level what the impact of certain modes of production (e.g. herding sheep for meat, milk and/or wool) would be on land use and work force. By simulating a range of strategies in hypothesized production scenarios we can better understand to what extent surplus production was possible.
We will also use simulations to investigate the dynamics of population development at both the household and the regional level. This will help us understand the possible effects of recruitment on population growth, and to better estimate the potential workforce that could be employed for surplus production.
Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of the settlement pattern and palaeogeography of the area will inform us about the possibilities and limitations of transport of people and goods in the region, and the possible economic relationships between the military, civilian and rural population.
NWO Vidi project (2012-2016)
Budget: EUR 800,000
Dr. Philip Verhagen
- Joyce, J. & P. Verhagen 2016. Simulating the Farm: Computational Modelling of Cattle and Sheep Herd Dynamics for the Analysis of Past Animal Husbandry Practices. Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (LAC2014 Proceedings), http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/lac.2014.59
- Verhagen, P., J. Joyce & M.R. Groenhuijzen 2016. Modelling the Dynamics of Demography in the Dutch Roman Limes Zone. Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (LAC2014 Proceedings), http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/lac.2014.62
- Verhagen, P., I. Vossen, M.R. Groenhuijzen & J. Joyce 2016. Now you see them, now you don’t: Defining and using a flexible chronology of sites for spatial analysis of Roman settlement in the Dutch river area. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10, 309-321, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.10.006
- Groenhuijzen, M.R. & P. Verhagen 2016. Testing the Robustness of Local Network Metrics in Research on Archeological Local Transport Networks. Frontiers in Digital Humanities 3:6, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fdigh.2016.00006
- Groenhuijzen, M.R. & P. Verhagen 2015. Exploring the dynamics of transport in the Dutch Limes. eTopoi Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 4, pp. 15-47.
- Groenhuijzen, M.R. & P. Verhagen (2015). Exploring the dynamics of transport in the Dutch limes. eTopoi Special Volume 4, pp. 15-46.
- Verhagen, P., L. Nuninger, F. Bertoncello & A. Castrorao Barba (submitted). Estimating the “memory of landscape” to predict changes in archaeological settlement patterns. Proceedings of CAA2015.
- Chiarcos, C., M. Lang & P. Verhagen (submitted). IT-assisted Exploration of Excavation Reports. Using Natural Language Processing in the archaeological research process. Proceedings of CAA2015.
- Joyce, J. & P. Verhagen (submitted). Simulating the farm: a role for the computational modelling of the agricultural palaeoeconomy. Proceedings of LAC2014.
- Verhagen, P., J. Joyce & M. Groenhuijzen (submitted). Modelling the dynamics of demography in the Dutch Roman limes zone. Proceedings of LAC2014.
- Nuninger, L., P. Verhagen, F. Bertoncello & A. Castrorao Barba (submitted). Estimating “land use heritage” to model changes in archaeological settlement patterns. Proceedings of LAC2014.
- Verhagen, J.W.H.P., Joyce, J.A. & Groenhuijzen, M.R. (2014). Finding the limits of the Limes. IAG Working Group on Geoarchaeology Newsletter 15, 10-15.