, Daniel Devatman Hromada, Applying the NALANA method to 0th Archaeo-riddle

The नलना method

न :: NA :: naive

ल :: LA :: lazy

न :: NA :: narrative

Labeling the playfield

Some poetic names (Pulogne!) were already provided by organizers

I call the main body of water „Middlesea“, the southern landmass „Frica“, the northern land mass „Youresia“, and the eastern shore „Orient“.

Note: Observe how a simple choice of names which are reminiscent of a real-world situation immediately biases one's thought and reasoning.

Approach 0 : Lazy human solver

After sorting CSV by date, one observes:

poppy chewers culture emerged in Frica, their site Farwallow being the main hub, after mastery of boat-building technology around 7200 BP expansion both to north (Rabbithole) as well to the east (Bourville) ensues

oldest rabbit skinners settlements were discovered in Youresia (Tertexo-Astumanca-Zava cluster), somewhat newer ones in Orient

rabbit skinner settlement dates cover short time spans (one, max two radio-carbon dated samples for HG), some poppy-chewer settlements cover much longer time spans (oh that splendid longevity of Farwallow, Rabbithole, Bearcall!)

Additional observations (Common data)

Bourville site (chewers), which seems to be located in the region where both cultures first got into contact sometimes around 7100, is of rather short duration, indicating potentially (hostile) destruction of the settlement

Fast demise of chewer’s Talona colony around 7060 corrobates the hypothesis of hostilities

Some years later – around 7000 - the same holds for oriental (Montnesse) and youresian (Mulid) poppy farms

since arrival of farmers in non-Frican regions, no presence of longer-lasting (>1 carbon dated sample period) skinner settlement is observed

Observations (additional data)

Sector 46: Absence of HG settlements. Presence of multiple long-lasting F settlements.

Sector 48: Presence of surprisingly long-lasting HG settlements including the oldest one replaced around 6870 by F settlements.

Sector 28: HG replaced by F between 6900 and 6650.

Sector 74: Short-term HG settlements replaced between 6800 and 6750 with F culture. The youngest discovered HG settlement dates to 6785

Sector 62: HG settlements replaced by F settlements betwen 7150 and 6950.

Lazy human Summary

In all additionally surveyed sectors, we observe what was already indicated by Biblio data, i.e. quite abrupt replacement of HG culture with F culture with few signs of co-existence *.

Established HG tend to gradually disappear after chewers enter the scene and contrary to previous ones (e.g. HG settlements in sector 48), all new HG settlements after the „chewer invasion“ are just one-time shots. Farmer settlements have first difficulties to establish themselves in places formerly inhabited by HG, it is in regions where no prior HG was observed (sector 46) where important bastions of the chewer culture are established.

This does not seem like a sign of peaceful gradual cultural assimilation but rather as a sign of takeover (e.g. invasion).

H0: An HG settlement as old as 7200BP will be excavated on island in sector 35, maybe even older settlements on Frica's northernmost coast (sector 25).

GPT4 Code interpreter

Uploaded the CSV files and started the conversation with the prompt:

"The CSV file contains five columns which will allow us to correctly solve the riddle in computational archaelogy. The first column is name of the archeological site, is kind of arbitrary but will allow us to provide the narrative which will be the solution to the riddle. Second column encodes the longitude data, third column contains the lattitude information. It is the fourth column which is crucial: it contains radiocarbon dates (BP=before present) sampled by the archeologist at the site. Note that one site can refer to multiple samples associated to different times (different samples are separated by the pipe symbol separator "|" in the fourth csv column). Finally, the fifth column contains information whether the site was the farmer (F) or hunter-gatherer (HG) site. Execute reasoning based on the data provide and try to answer the question: were farmers and hunter-gatherers in conflict, or did the F culture assimilate the HG peacefully ?"

It seems we have an oracle

GPT4 understands the tasks and generates all necessary python code which loads the CSV data into dataframes

histograms, plots, heatmaps ...

... Bayesian analysis (GPT4:: "It seems that our Bayesian model still results in a probability of 0 for peaceful assimilation. This outcome is likely due to an oversimplification in our model, specifically in how we're computing spatial overlap and updating our beliefs.")

all can now be done without little knowledge of Python or R altogether !

Once upon a time ...

Another prompt: "Answer the archeoriddle "Did F replace HG violently" with a funny narrative which stays nonetheless faithful to the empiric data. Use expressions like "poppy chewers" or "poppies" when speaking about F, and "rabbit skinners" or "skinnies" when speaking about HG. Continent to south where Farwallow is located is called Africa, eastern region where Bannet is located is Orient , continent to the north is Youresia, sea in the middle - around the island with Rabbithole - is called Middlesea. Story describing the poppychewer invasion should start with expression "Once upon a time" and make it clear whether the invasion was peaceful or violent."

GPT4 Middlesea narative

Once upon a time, in the sun-drenched savannahs of Africa, the "poppy chewers" blossomed. Their lives revolved around the vibrant fields of poppies. They sang songs of the sun, the soil, and the joyous poppy that they chewed, which tingled their senses and filled their days with laughter.

To the north, across the vast expanse of the Middlesea, lay the expansive plains of Youresia. Here, the "rabbit skinners," or "skinnies," roamed free. Their days were filled with the thrill of the chase, the art of the hunt, and the warmth of rabbit skins draped around them.

But the winds of change were blowing. The poppy chewers, with their ever-growing ambitions, began to look beyond their poppy fields. They set their sights on the lands to the north, where tales spoke of vast plains and untapped riches. And so, with dreams of new lands to sow their beloved poppies, they set sail across the Middlesea.

Their ships first made landfall near the islands around Rabbithole, where they encountered the skinnies. The skinnies, with their keen eyes and swift feet, observed these newcomers from a distance, their curiosity piqued by the peculiar plants the poppy chewers brought with them and their strange chewing habits.

<b>Our heatmaps are more than just colors; they tell tales of time, movement, and encounters.</b> The skinnies, who once roamed the northern plains around Girovega, witnessed a new horizon as Alicia became a stronghold for the poppy chewers. Similarly, the lands of Banau, echoing with the footsteps of the skinnies, slowly resonated with the songs of the poppy chewers as Genneville became their new home.

Yet, not all ventures of the poppy chewers were tales of success. To the east, in the Orient, they dreamt of establishing a grand colony. Bourville was to be this dream. But alas, the heatmaps whisper of a dream unfulfilled, a colony that could not stand the test of time.

And so, dear reader, as the poppy chewers spread their roots, the relationship between them and the skinnies took shape. There were moments of harmony, where poppies were traded for rabbit skins, and moments of discord, where the horizon was painted with the shadows of conflict.

In this dance of cultures and times, one thing was clear: the lands of Africa, Youresia, and the Middlesea bore witness to a rich tapestry of history, where poppies and skinnies, though different, became threads of the same story.

so long,

...and thanks for all the fish



Slava Ukrajine

P.S. hopefully see You at next Archaeoriddle workshop