Solutions to Drift on Small and Isolated Populations

Author(s): Carl Lipo; Mark Madsen; Robert Dinapoli; Terry Hunt

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Due to the effects of drift on small and isolated populations, island environments pose particular evolutionary challenges in the retention of richness and diversity of cultural information. Such variation, however, can have significant fitness consequences particularly when environmental conditions change in an unpredictable fashion: knowledge about past environments may be the key to long-term persistence. Evolutionarily, one would expect successful adaptations to include social mechanisms for maintaining diversity and richness within interacting populations. Factors that can shape the rate of drift across a population include the semantics of the traits as well as spatially structured social networks. Here, we explore how community patterning and interaction impacts the rate of trait retention and extinction. We use our findings to explore how this process might explain aspects of the archaeological record for the prehistoric populations of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile).

Cite this Record

Solutions to Drift on Small and Isolated Populations. Carl Lipo, Mark Madsen, Robert Dinapoli, Terry Hunt. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450518)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 117.598; min lat: -29.229 ; max long: -75.41; max lat: 53.12 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23390