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Davies, Toby; Fry, Hannah; Wilson, Alan; Palmisano, Alessio; Altaweel, Mark; Radner, Karen (2013): Application of an Entropy Maximizing and Dynamics Model for Understanding Settlement Structure. The Khabur Triangle in the Middle Bronze and Iron Ages.



We present a spatial interaction entropy maximizing and structural dynamics model of settlements from the Middle Bronze (MBA) and Iron Ages (IA) in the Khabur Triangle (KT) region within Syria. The model addresses factors that make locations attractive for trade and settlement, affecting settlement growth and change. We explore why some sites become relatively major settlements, while others diminish in the periods discussed. We assess how political and geographic constraints affect regional settlement transformations, while also accounting for uncertainty in the archaeological data. Model outputs indicate how the MBA settlement pattern contrasts from the IA for the same region when different factors affecting settlement importance, facility of movement, and exogenous site interactions are studied. The results suggest the importance of political and historical factors in these periods and also demonstrate the value of a quantitative model in explaining emergent settlement size distributions across landscapes affected by different causal elements. The model here is shared for those interested in its applications, including settings outside of the studied region and in different periods. Settlement and input data applied in the paper is also provided.