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4.0 Conclusion

Based on this example I hope to have shown how these diachronic models can indirectly represent taskscapes. Because areas frequented in different rates over different time periods become associated with distinct taskscapes (cf. 2.1, 3.6 and 3.7), which eventually influence perceptions and actions, these diachronic simulations provide a backdrop of humanly used areas in which taskscapes can be imagined and a social drama can be 'acted' out. Although the taskscapes themselves are not modelled, the simulations present us with an outline from which such taskscapes can be suggested and consequently a social world can be developed. One may not be able to pinpoint exactly what happened in each of these zones of understanding, but they offer a glimpse at a dynamic world of potential influences on human action, which – after all – happens at the intersection of landscapes and taskscapes.

Even though this article has only briefly skimmed over some of the issues involved in human land use through time, by investigating the diachronic nature of human land use within Calabria this research was able to present a quantitative stage from which to imagine a qualitative Neolithic lifestyle and its continuously perceived landscapes. As the Neolithic represents a long and dynamic period of change in human subsistence methods, it is believed that the incorporation of a time component into land-use simulations does contribute much to its understanding. It enables the discussion of time-depth of actions and explicates the results of, and possible influences on, human activities, i.e. taskscapes. An attempt has not been made to reconstruct an exact copy of Calabria through the Neolithic but rather to identify relevant patterns within, and interpretations of, land use, which may represent some Neolithic Calabrian lifeways.

Finally, as it was made clear that spatial and temporal contexts are inherently connected within the organisation of human practice, GIS models on the decisions that enable this practice need to consider their relatedness and become more 'culture and time involved'. The subtlety of using agency (through economic choice) as input, as demonstrated here, should be seen only as a first step towards GIS research truly integrating environmental and socio-cultural variables. However, I believe that the very definition and specification of human economic choice as input within the presented GIS model encouraged the inclusion of social, cultural and temporal elements, allowing the simulation of realistic, holistic and especially dynamic and culturally experienced human landscapes, leading to a much more humanised GIS approach.

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