Modelling Environmental Dynamics and Hominin Dispersals Around the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (METHOD)

International Focus Group (IFG) #1604F funded by INQUA


Project participants:
Christine Hertler, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Jesús Rodríguez, Burgos, Spain
Ana Mateos, Burgos, Spain
Maria Rita Palombo, Rome, Italy

The Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (MPR) marks a period of profound reconfigurations in global ecosystems caused by climate change driven by variations in orbital forcing taking place around one million years ago. Changes in climate drastically affect vegetation, thus leading to significant faunal turnovers in Europe and elsewhere. Hominins responded to these changes in various ways, on the level of populations by adapting their reproductive strategies thus controlling population densities, on the level of behavior by acquiring new ways of resource acquisition and management, and finally also by shifting distribution patterns and dispersing into new environments.The METHOD IFG network studies environments and hominin responses across diverse spatial, chronological and biological scales. We make use of a range of techniques of modelling (e.g. agent-based modeling, network modelling) and simulation. Furthermore, we create a web-based toolbox to explore a larger range of databases.


  • Rodríguez, J., Mateos, A., Hertler, C., Palombo, M. R. (2016): Modelling human presence and environmental dynamics during the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution: New approaches and tools. Quaternary International 393: 19-23.
  • Rodríguez, J., Mateos, A., Hertler, C., Palombo, M. R. 82016): The power of models: Mathematical approaches to the study of human-fauna interactions in the Pleistocene. Quaternary International 413:2-6.
  • Volmer, R., Hertler, C. (2016): The effect of competition on shared food resources in carnivore guilds. Quaternary International 413: 32-43.
  • Hölzchen, E., Hertler, C., Timm, I., Lorig, F. (2016): Evaluation of Out of Africa hypotheses by means of agent-based modeling. Quaternary International 413: 78-90.
  • Timm, I., Lorig, F., Hölzchen, E. Hertler, C. (2016): Multi-scale Agent-based Simulation of Long-Term Dispersal Processes: Towards a Sophisticated Simulation Model of Hominin Dispersal. In: Barceló, J. A., del Castillo, F. (eds.): Simulating Prehistoric and Ancient Worlds. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. pp. 141-158.