Modeling Across Millennia: Interdisciplinary Paths to Ancient Socionatural Systems

Sunday, February 20, 2011: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
146B (Washington Convention Center )
For 50 years, archeologists have worked with botanists, zoologists, geologists, and other scientists to reconstruct past environments and identify constituents of the archeological record. But only recently have we begun to incorporate the data from other sciences in dynamic models of prehistoric societies in their changing landscapes, to begin to understand how subtle processes such as the human impact on the environment interact with climatic variability, and human social and cultural processes, to form the archeological record that we discover. These papers report findings from six projects whose target societies range in scale from fishers and foragers in the northern Pacific, to incipient states in Mesopotamia. Collectively, they illustrate the range of ways in which archeologists can work with other scientists to describe, model, and explain linked changes to societies and environments that open new approaches to understanding the emergence of larger and more complex polities, the long-term sustainability of adaptations, and the factors that make societies robust or vulnerable to various environmental hazards. This symposium is sponsored by CHANS-NET, an international network of research on coupled human and natural systems.
Timothy A. Kohler, Washington State University
Stefani A. Crabtree, Washington State University
J. Daniel Rogers, National Museum of Natural History
Modeling Human-Environmental Interactions in Inner Asia: Households to Empires
Timothy A. Kohler, Washington State University
The Village Ecodynamics Project: Modeling the Deep Pueblo Past
Patrick V. Kirch, University of California
Islands as Model Systems for Long-Term Human Ecodynamics
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