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Supercomputing helps recreate history

The best known application of supercomputing is simulation, especially in areas like health and meteorology. Simulpast is a project that applies the power of the Marenostrum supercomputer to recreate historical events.

Simulpast is a collaborative project between several universities and research institutes. Its objective consists in creating a tool capable of simulating ancient societies and their relation to changes in the environment. For now, the project is focused on simulating seven historical events, from the start of agriculture in Europe to the appearance of different ethnic groups simultaneously in Patagonia. The project aims to reproduce the events several times and even change some of its circumstances artificially to analyze in depth the facts.
The Marenostrum supercomputer, which can be found in UPC Campus Nord, will analyze all the data related to the events and carry out the simulation. The results are a bunch of maps, graphs and statistics. Then these will be compared with the real archeological data to contrast the different theories we have today.
The members of the project don’t expect to obtain historical rules that can foresee the future; they want to understand certain phenomenon from the past to see how it affects the present.

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