Here are a few quick updates on other things for those playing along at home: a new modeling paper about the minimum size of demographically viable hunter-gatherer populations, new Fake Hercules Swords en route, and an identification of last Friday's whatzit.
How Small is Too Small?
I'm happy to announce that a paper I submitted to the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) has been accepted for publication. The paper ("A Model-Based Analysis of the Minimum Size of Demographically-Viable Hunter-Gatherer Populations") uses computational modeling to systematically investigate how large hunter-gatherer populations have to be to survive over long periods of time. Spoiler alert: my results suggest that populations much smaller than the "magic number" of 500 are demographically viable over several centuries under the conditions I explore with my model (in this case, FN3D_V3). JASSS is open access. I'll let you know when the paper becomes available.
Two New Swords on the Way
Two new Fake Hercules Swords should arrive at my office any day now. Alert #Swordgate enthusiast Hartman Krug spotted these swords, which are currently being produced in Italy. Because the company doesn't ship to the U.S., I asked a relative in Germany to purchase them for me and ship them to South Carolina. After arriving in New Jersey a few days ago, they are currently listed by the USPS as "in transit to destination."
It will be really interesting to have a look at this and delve into the history of the company making them. Could this finally lead us back to the original Mother of All Fake Hercules Swords?
The purchase and shipping of these swords was supported by your contributions to Woo War One. There's still a positive balance there, but it's dwindling. If you'd like to help keep the pressure on and get to the bottom of this, please consider contributing.
The Whatzit: A Trophy Base?
The "what the heck is this" post I put up last Friday was fun. Within a few minutes of asking the question to an artifact group on Facebook, someone suggested that the item is a base for a trophy. That explanation made sense to me (you can see some new ones for sale here).
Following the post, the owner of the artifact told me he returned to the same creek where he found the original artifact and found another one (left) that lacks the rounded corners of the first one (right). What these things are doing in a creek in Tennessee I do not know.
If you've got a whatzit, send me some photos and maybe we can get it figured out.