Finding the Path of Least Resistance

A positive academic discussion

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

A paper by Marcos Llobera titled “Memory at your feet: Modeling the agency of past trails” presents a new GIS simulation package, NetSim, to account for the effect of past trails on the movement of people across the landscape.

To walk the same way is to reiterate something deep; to move through the same space the same way is a means of becoming the same person, thinking the same thoughts.

Indeed, knowledge of the landscape through cultural practice is heritage and identity.

While most people would agree that existing paths must have influenced later ones, it remains very challenging to establish the magnitude and scope of such influence in any precise manner.

Very true. I think Llobera’s attempt to simulate the impact of prior trails, however, is an important intellectual step forward beyond just looking at least-cost pathway analysis.

Llobera, Marcos. 2020. Memory at your feet: Modeling the agency of past trails. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 29: 102177.

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