Boulder, COLORADO – Emeritus scientists at the Santa Fe Institute and the University of Colorado Boulder have come up with a new study that reveals that the settlements in ancient cities got more productive as and when they became denser and bigger.

The research team under the guidelines of an assistant professor in CU-Boulder’s Department of Anthropology, Scott Ortman explained in a research paper published in 2014 that the theory of ‘Urban Scaling’ applies full well for cities and their settlements ever since they came into vogue in the ancient days. Productivity increased by leaps and bounds as and when the cities got populated and the settlements grew; houses and artifacts started getting distributed across larger diameters in the areas.

Findings Published Today

The concept of growth exhibited in the ancient civilizations is akin to the characteristic of development, growth and sprawling as is vehement in urban cities. With a large number of people residing at a place, infrastructure started getting intensively used. Moreover, people interacted frequently, and consequently the productivity per person increased significantly. In this realm, new findings were published in the Science Advances journal today.


Productivity Increases With Denser Population

Scott Ortman said, “With the increase in population, settlement grows and according to Urban Scaling, social interactions take place with a wide number of people more frequently, and consequently, the total production of the group of people grows at an even faster rate.”

The group of researchers tabulated measurements of various ancient houses, settlements and temples in and around the Mexico City (previously, the Mexican pre-Hispanic Basin). Using the data and resources available at their disposal, the team analyzed dimensions of various artifacts, houses and temples across 4K settlements and assessed the overall productivity of the region.

The results notched up were, according to Ortman, “Amazing and Unbelievable”! SFI’s Luis Bettencourt, who took part in the study, added that “Our premises of population density and productivity in societies are deeper than one discerned and have been affected by the challenges and opportunities pertaining to organizing social networks.”

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