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Department of Archaeology



Simon obtained his License (BA) at University Claude Bernard in Lyon (France) where he studied both Computer Science and Biology. Simon received his master’s in Cognitive Science at the EPHE in Paris (France), and another in History and Philosophy of Science in Paris Diderot (France). Simon received his PhD from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain).  Following this, Simon was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Dynamic of Social Complexity and at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Tennesse, Knoxville (US).


Combining Evolutionary Theory and Computer models, Simon explores how Human Culture spreads and changes through time, at different spatial and temporal scales. During his PhD he developed models to study trade in the Roman Empire, and also applied similar techniques to understand the spread of information in actual social network, or to understand the theoretical impact that different kind of human social interactions can have on the emergence and evolution of complex social constructions.

Key Publications

Key publications: 
- Carrignon, Simon, R. Alexander Bentley, and Damian Ruck. "Modelling rapid online cultural transmission: Evaluating neutral models on twitter data with approximate bayesian computation." Palgrave Communications 5.1 (2019): 1-9.

- Carrignon, Simon, Tom Brughmans, and Iza Romanowska. "Tableware trade in the Roman East: Exploring cultural and economic transmission with agent-based modelling and approximate Bayesian computation." PloS one 15.11 (2020): e0240414.

- Carrignon, Simon, Jean-Marc Montanier, and Xavier Rubio-Campillo. "Modelling the co-evolution of trade and culture in past societies." 2015 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC). IEEE, 2015.






Journal articles

2024 (Accepted for publication)

  • Crema, E., Carrignon, S., Shoda, S. and Stevens, C., 2024 (Accepted for publication). Regional variations in the demographic response to the arrival of rice farming in prehistoric Japan, Cambridge University Press Antiquity,
  • 2024

  • Bentley, RA., Horne, B., Borycz, J., Carrignon, S., Shteynberg, G., Vidiella, B., Valverde, S. and O’Brien, MJ., 2024. Cultural Evolution, Disinformation, and Social Division Adaptive Behavior, v. 32 10.1177/10597123231186432
  • 2023

  • Pryce, TO., Carrignon, S., Cadet, M., Oo, KT., Oo, SN., Win, TT., Aye, A., Pradier, B., Bellina, B., Meur, CL., Petchey, P. and Radivojević, M., 2023. A Partial Prehistory of the Southwest Silk Road: Archaeometallurgical Networks along the Sub-Himalayan Corridor Cambridge Archaeological Journal,
  • Carrignon, S., Alexander Bentley, R. and O'Brien, MJ., 2023. Estimating two key dimensions of cultural transmission from archaeological data Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, v. 72
  • 2022 (Accepted for publication)

  • Pritchard, AJ., Silk, MJ., Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA. and Fefferman, NH., 2022 (Accepted for publication). Balancing timeliness of reporting with increasing testing probability for epidemic data., Elsevier BV Infectious Disease Modelling, v. 7
  • 2022

  • Romanowska, I., Brughmans, T., Bes, P., Carrignon, S., Egelund, L., Lichtenberger, A. and Raja, R., 2022. A Study of the Centuries-Long Reliance on Local Ceramics in Jerash Through Full Quantification and Simulation Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, v. 29
  • Bentley, RA., Borycz, J., Carrignon, S., Ruck, DJ. and O’Brien, MJ., 2022. Machine learning for rediscovering revolutionary ideas of the past Adaptive Behavior, v. 30
  • Silk, MJ., Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA. and Fefferman, NH., 2022. Observations and conversations: how communities learn about infection risk can impact the success of non-pharmaceutical interventions against epidemics. BMC Public Health, v. 22
  • Pritchard, AJ., Silk, MJ., Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA. and Fefferman, NH., 2022. How reported outbreak data can shape individual behavior in a social world. J Public Health Policy, v. 43
  • Vidiella, B., Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA., O'Brien, MJ. and Valverde, S., 2022. A cultural evolutionary theory that explains both gradual and punctuated change. J R Soc Interface, v. 19
  • Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA., Silk, M. and Fefferman, NH., 2022. How social learning shapes the efficacy of preventative health behaviors in an outbreak. PLoS One, v. 17
  • 2021

  • Bentley, RA., Carrignon, S., Ruck, DJ., Valverde, S. and O'Brien, MJ., 2021. Neutral models are a tool, not a syndrome. Nat Hum Behav, v. 5
  • Silk, MJ., Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA. and Fefferman, NH., 2021. Improving pandemic mitigation policies across communities through coupled dynamics of risk perception and infection. Proc Biol Sci, v. 288
  • 2020

  • Carrignon, S., Coto-Sarmiento, M., Bentley, RA. and O’Brien, MJ., 2020. An introduction to papers from workshops on the evolution of cultural complexity Adaptive Behavior, v. 28
  • Carrignon, S., Bentley, A., Silk, M. and Fefferman, N., 2020. The ‘Icarus effect’ of preventative health behaviors
  • Carrignon, S., Brughmans, T. and Romanowska, I., 2020. Tableware trade in the Roman East: Exploring cultural and economic transmission with agent-based modelling and approximate Bayesian computation. PLoS One, v. 15
  • 2019

  • Carrignon, S., Bentley, RA. and Ruck, D., 2019. Modelling rapid online cultural transmission: evaluating neutral models on Twitter data with approximate Bayesian computation Palgrave Communications, v. 5
  • Brughmans, T., Hanson, JW., Mandich, MJ., Romanowska, I., Rubio-Campillo, X., Carrignon, S., Collins-Elliott, S., Crawford, K., Daems, D., Fulminante, F., de Haas, T., Kelly, P., del Carmen Moreno Escobar, M., Paliou, E., Prignano, L. and Ritondale, M., 2019. Formal Modelling Approaches to Complexity Science in Roman Studies: A Manifesto, Open Library of the Humanities Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal, v. 2 10.16995/traj.367
  • 2016

  • Zibetti, E., Carrignon, S. and Bredeche, N., 2016. ACACIA-ES: an agent-based modeling and simulation tool for investigating social behaviors in resource-limited two-dimensional environments Mind and Society, v. 15
  • Montanier, JM., Carrignon, S. and Bredeche, N., 2016. Behavioral specialization in embodied evolutionary robotics: Why so difficult? Frontiers Robotics AI, v. 3
  • Book chapters


  • Carrignon, S., Brughmans, T. and Romanowska, I., 2022. Copying of Economic Strategies in Eastern Mediterranean Inter-regional Tableware Trade
  • Conference proceedings


  • Bredeche, N., Montanier, JM. and Carrignon, S., 2017. Benefits of proportionate selection in embodied evolution: A case study with behavioural specialization GECCO 2017 - Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference Companion,
  • 2016

  • Carrignon, S., Montanier, JM. and Rubio-Campillo, X., 2016. Modelling the co-evolution of trade and culture in past societies Proceedings - Winter Simulation Conference, v. 2016-February
  • Medernach, D., Carrignon, S., Doursat, R., Kowaliw, T., Fitzgerald, J. and Ryan, C., 2016. Evolution of heterogeneous cellular automata in fluctuating environments Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference 2016, ALIFE 2016,
  • 2015

  • Medernach, D., Fitzgerald, J., Carrignon, S. and Ryan, C., 2015. Evolutionary Progress in Heterogenous Cellular Automata (HetCA) Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Artificial Life, ECAL 2015, 10.7551/978-0-262-33027-5-ch090
  • Job Titles

    Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

    General Info

    Not available for consultancy
    Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
    Human Evolution
    Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
    Cultural Evolution

    Contact Details

    sc2297 [at]


    Person keywords: 
    cultural evolution, evolutionary anthropology, computer modelling, quantitative archaeology
    Human Evolutionary Studies
    Geographical areas: 
    East Asia
    Periods of interest: 
    Classical - Roman