Abstract for: Modelling the long-term evolution and collapse of societies
I will be covering some modelling issues that come up when considering the long-term development of societies. Of particular importance is the topic of societal collapse as the archaeological record has numerous instances of the phenomenon. To build accurate models for these cases we need to identify the relevant feedback mechanisms that operate over the longest time scales. In the case of societies, the long-term feedback loops involve different types of societal complexity, resources and returns derived from their extraction. I will discuss some of the general modelling philosophy, relevant literature, my own work on ancient societies (Easter Island, the Maya, Roman Empire and Chinese dynasties) and implications for modern society.