Modeling patterns of wealth disparity in predynastic Upper Egypt

Conference Date
Lyon, France
Date Published
September 2017
Conference Date: 2017, Vol. 14, Pages 322-323.
(doi: 10.7551/ecal_a_054)
© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license
Article PDF (580.23 KB)

This study reports work in progress on an Agent-Based Model (ABM) that critically explores specific theories that have gained prominence in the study of Egyptian state formation in the last two decades. The goal is to develop a model that simulates the evolution of complex social and economic networks by incorporating idiosyncrasies of human character and decision making, in order to create more plausible historical reconstructions. This study’s ABM focuses on wealth accumulation and loss in a simple agrarian society within an environment that simulates the Upper Egyptian landscape (ca. 4000 BC), the time period when clear evidence of economic and social inequality among Upper Egyptian households can be observed in the archaeological record. Understanding the establishment of permanent, entrenched inequality is crucial for exploring the development of social complexity and hierarchy.