Territoriality, Social Boundaries and Conflict: A Dynamic Model for the Formation of Intertribal Buffer Zones

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 14:00
, Jude - California State U., Chico
, Frank - California State U., Chico

Human territoriality and the evolution of social boundaries are important and long-standing issues of concern to anthropologists and social scientists. One notable phenomenon often spatially situated between groups is the intertribal buffer zone, an area that is generally devoid of occupation where certain resources can flourish without being overhunted. We here examine through the development of a bioeconomic model the relative importance of resource depression and conflict on the formation of the buffer zone. We first develop a dynamic spatial model of a group harvesting resources at varying distances from a base locale. We then simulate the effects of two amicable groups taking resources and compare this to two groups in conflict. Ultimately, we show how the potential for conflict reduces the incentive to harvest high-ranking resources, and prevents the overexploitation of the resources.