History

Our most obvious source of data for understanding the mind-culture nexus is the history of human minds in cultures. Several of the Center’s projects are dedicated to understanding the mind-culture nexus in historic moments of dynamic transformation.

Visualizing the Deep Past with 3D Archaeology

Visualizing the Deep Past with 3D Archaeology

Visualizing the Deep Past (VDP) applies leading-edge computer simulation and 3D visualization techniques to demonstrate how human beings can activate understanding of the deep past, thereby reconstructing how human minds developed and how our potential for creativity and cultural transformation was unleashed. Beyond the scope of the use-case application to Çatalhöyük, VDP will also demonstrate one way to handle the problem of human inquiry being stalled by too much data, too many disciplines, and too much complexity in the mind-culture nexus. Visualization methods have shown great promise in giving us expansive control of the rich datasets computers can generate and in keeping human inquiry engaged with the intricacy of the mind-culture nexus. Years active: 2017–Present. In partnership with VMASC.

Key personnel

Publications
Shults, F. LeRon and Wesley J. Wildman, “Modeling Çatalhöyük: Simulating Religious Entanglement and Social Investment in the Neolithic,” in Ian Hodder, ed., Religion, History and Place. Denver: University of Colorado Press, forthcoming.

 
 
Civilizational Transformation Project

Civilizational Transformation Project

The Civilizational Transformation Project considers immense societal upheavals, delineating and analyzing the conditions that prompt such radical change. The project is a subsidiary of MRP but with its own output, paying particular attention to the way minds and cultures undergo parallel and connected processes of change.

Researchers are looking at moments of revolution and evolution in the structure, values and routines of civilizations in order to learn why such shifts happen and when. They have been tracking the movement from hunter-gatherer societies to domestication to massive military nation-states, from the Axial Age into the Age of Modernity and so forth.

These efforts to understand key moments in the development of the human species will provide a better grasp on humanity’s changing motives for building communities and enable further examination on individuals’ relationship to their society. Years active: 2016–Present.

Key personnel