Complexes, Colonizations, and Climates: Paleoenvironmental Perspectives on Human Biogeography

Author(s): Christopher Kiahtipes

Year: 2016


From the Desert West of the US to Asia’s Tibetan Plateau, David B. Madsen’s work focuses on better understanding the perennial anthropological and ecological problems of migration and human biogeography through robust paleoenvironmental and archaeological collaborations. An essential aspect of this body of work is challenging assumptions of homogeneity in cultural and ecological associations in order to consider how they co-evolved through space and time. Current research from the Great Basin and Congo Basin show the continuing value of combined paleoenvironmental-archaeological research for developing a more realistic, robust, and intellectually rewarding picture of human biogeography and its ecological consequences. These two regions are of particular interest because they show surprising similarities despite radical differences in climate and vegetation cover, which argues for similar causal mechanisms at play in both regions. By emphasizing the iterative, processual, and ecological dimensions of human colonization events, archaeologists may gain an important foothold in discussions about conservation, anthropogenic climate change, and the ecological fallout of globalization.

Cite this Record

Complexes, Colonizations, and Climates: Paleoenvironmental Perspectives on Human Biogeography. Christopher Kiahtipes. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403844)