Human society can be either simple or complex. Yet exactly how human societies evolve from small groups to the huge, anonymous complex societies of today has long remained a mystery. Now, scientists have tackled the question mathematically, accurately matching the historical record on the emergence of complex states in the ancient world.
In order to examine exactly how society evolves, the researchers created a mathematical model. This model was simulated within a realistic landscape of the Afro-Eurasian landmass during 1,500 BCE to 1,500 CE. This model was then tested against the historical record.