Using the behavioral ecological model of ideal free distribution (IFD), McClure, Jochim, and Barton (2006) identified the tight linkage between agricultural subsistence strategies, herd management, and long-term dynamics of human land use. Missing from their discussion, however, was placing these changes into a broader environmental context. The IFD provides a useful heuristic device to illustrate cost-benefit decisions within a spatial context. This paper compares the previous interpretations of land use during the Neolithic with climatic data from the Holocene. Two main arid periods have been identified during the early and middle Holocene that correspond chronologically to Neolithic cultural horizons. Climate models recently generated for the area further suggest shifts in precipitation cycles may have exacerbated the impacts of broader climatic fluctuations on agricultural production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)