A mathematical perspective on the determination of coastal peopling nuclei


Two versions of a mathematical model are proposed for the process underlying the choice of settlement sites of past, present and future populations along the world coastline. The model is primarily based on the geometry of coastline at the scale of the map representing the region under study. It can be used to determine sites of human occupation for archaeological interest, as well as to plan future movements of present coastal populations due to the current sea level rise. Two examples related to history are presented: the first applies to the coastal peopling of the Mediterranean region, and the second to the settlement of Acadians in North-East of the Canadian province of New Brunswick in the second half of the 18th century.

Share and Cite:

Gauthier, C. , Brahmi, A. and Vautour, G. (2013) A mathematical perspective on the determination of coastal peopling nuclei. Natural Science, 5, 15-21. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.51003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] UNESCO (1997) Land, sea and societies. In search of a sustainable balance: Environment and development of coastal regions and small islands. UNESCO, Paris.
[2] Corlay, J.-P. (1998) Factors and cycles of coastal occupation. In: Cabane, C., Chaussade, J., Corlay, J.-P., Miossec, A., Miossec, J.-M. and Pinot, J.-P., Eds., Géographie Humaine des Littoraux Maritimes, SEDES, Paris, 97-170.
[3] Liu, Y. (2009) Modelling urban development with geographical information systems and cellular automata. CRC Press, New York.
[4] McEvedy, C. (1985) Atlas of ancient history. Laffont, Paris.
[5] Landry, N. and Lang, N. (2001) Acadian history. Septentrion, Québec.
[6] Wheatley, D. and Gillings, M. (2002) Spatial technology and archaeology. The archaeological application of GIS. Taylor and Francis, New York. doi:10.4324/9780203302392

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.