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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Two of the defining behaviors associated with the hominin lineage are an increased reliance on tool use and the routine incorporation of animal tissue in the diet. These adaptations have been linked to numerous downstream consequences including key physiological adaptations as well as social and cognitive effects associated with modern humans. Thus, a critical issue in human evolution is how to determine when hominins began incorporating significant amounts of meat into their diets. Bone surface modifications (BSM) have long been recognized as a powerful inferential tool in identifying the differential involvement of actors responsible for altering assemblages of bone recovered …

Contributors
Harris, Jacob A, Marean, Curtis W, Hill, Kim, et al.
Created Date
2019

Social identities are fundamental to the way individuals and groups define themselves. Archaeological approaches to social identities in the Andes emphasize the importance of group identities such as ethnicity and community identity, but studies of gender and age identities are still uncommon. In this dissertation, I build on these earlier approaches to Andean social identities and consider community, gender, and age identities at the site of Chiribaya Alta using case studies. The coastal Ilo Chiribaya polity is associated with the Andean Late Intermediate Period in the lower Osmore drainage of southern Peru. Previous analyses indicate that Chiribaya sites in this …

Contributors
Schach, Emily Ann, Buikstra, Jane E, Knudson, Kelly J, et al.
Created Date
2019

Foodways in societies at every social scale are linked in complex ways to processes of social change. This dissertation explores the interrelationship between foodways and processes of rapid social transformation. Drawing on a wide range of archaeological and ethnographic data from the Cibola region, I examine the role of foodways in processes of population aggregation and community formation and address how changes in the scale and diversity of social life interacted with the scale and organization of food production and consumption practices. To address the interrelationships between foodways and social transformations, I employ a conceptual framework focused on two social …

Contributors
Oas, Sarah Elizabeth, Hegmon, Michelle, Kintigh, Keith W., et al.
Created Date
2019

Federal legislation prioritizes the repatriation of culturally unidentifiable human remains to federally-recognized Indian tribes that are linked geographically to the region from which the remains were removed. Such linkages are typically based on a Eurocentric notion of the exclusive use and occupancy of an area of land - a space-based approach to land use. Contemporary collaborations between anthropologists and indigenous communities suggest, however, that indigenous patterns of land use are better characterized as place-based and are therefore more complex and fluid than is reflected in current legislation. Despite these insights, space-based approaches remain common within archaeology. One example is the …

Contributors
Seidel, Andrew Colin, Carr, Christopher, Stojanowski, Christopher M, et al.
Created Date
2019

Migrations, past and present, fundamentally influence human interaction, community building, and social evolution. Studies of contemporary migrations demonstrate that the form and intensity of interaction migrants maintain between homeland and host communities shape social dynamics, innovations, and identities. This dissertation applies a contemporary theoretical framework and biogeochemical analyses to elucidate the scale, processes, and impacts of migration in the hinterland of the pre-Hispanic Tiwanaku polity (ca. AD 500-1100). Social diversity is examined by reconstructing the migration histories and dietary choices of individuals interred at the Tiwanaku-affiliated site of Omo M10 in the Moquegua Valley of southern Peru. Radiogenic strontium and …

Contributors
Dahlstedt, Allisen Cecelia, Knudson, Kelly J, Buikstra, Jane E, et al.
Created Date
2019

The recent emergence of global ‘megafires’ has made it imperative to better understand the role of humans in altering the size, distribution, and seasonality of fires. The dynamic relationship between humans and fire is not a recent phenomenon; rather, fire has deep roots in our biological and cultural evolution. Because of its long-term perspective, archaeology is uniquely positioned to investigate the social and ecological drivers behind anthropogenic fire. However, the field faces challenges in creating solution-oriented research for managing fire in the future. In this dissertation, I originate new methods and approaches to archaeological data that enable us to interpret …

Contributors
Snitker, Grant, Barton, Michael, Morehart, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2019

Unlike traditional frontier studies that treat the frontier as monolithic and focus on core-periphery interactions involving colonialism and acculturation, this dissertation seeks to characterize the internal social dynamics of frontier regions using the collective social identification framework. Concentrating on the intraregional and intrasite scales makes it possible to directly evaluate the bottom-up processes involved in the formation of collective social identities within frontier zones (i.e., sociopolitical development divorced from core-centric actions). Derived from social science research aimed at understanding the development of modern nation-states and social movements, the theoretical framework implemented in this research centers on the idea that sustained …

Contributors
Torvinen, Andrea, Nelson, Ben A, Abbott, David, et al.
Created Date
2018

The Egyptian New Kingdom city of Akhetaten (modern: Tell el-Amarna, el-Amarna, or simply Amarna) provides a unique opportunity to study ancient biocultural dynamics. It was a disembedded capital removed from the major power bases of Memphis and Thebes that was built, occupied, and abandoned within approximately 20 years (c. 1352–1336 BCE). This dissertation used the recently excavated Amarna South Tombs cemetery to test competing models for the development of disembedded capitals, such as the geographic origin of its migrants and its demographic structure in comparison to contrastive models for the establishment of settlements. The degree to which biological relatedness organized …

Contributors
Schaffer, William Charles, Buikstra, Jane E., Stojanowski, Christopher M., et al.
Created Date
2018

Coalescence is a distinctive process of village aggregation that creates larger, socially cohesive communities from smaller, scattered villages. This dissertation asks: how do individual and collective social relationships change throughout the process of coalescence, and how might these relationships contribute to the social cohesiveness of a coalescent community? Coalescent communities share characteristics that reveal the relationship between collective action and collective identities in their social dynamics. Collective identity is a shared sense of oneness among members of a group. It can be understood as the product of two processes: categorical and relational identification. Categorical identification is a shared association with …

Contributors
Striker, Sarah, Hegmon, Michelle, Michelaki, Kostalena, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation research describes the hunting behavior of early modern humans through the analysis of vertebrate faunal remains from Contrebandiers Cave, Morocco. Contrebandiers Cave is located in the town of Témara and is roughly 250 meters from the current shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. The cave was excavated in the 1950s and 1970s by l’Abbé Roche, and again starting in 2007 by Dibble and El Hajraoui with total station plotting of finds. Contrebandiers Cave contains Middle Stone Age (MSA) deposits dated to Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5e, 5d and 5c, ~120,000 to ~96,000 years ago. The Later Stone Age (LSA) …

Contributors
Hallett, Emily Yuko, Marean, Curtis W, Reed, Kaye E, et al.
Created Date
2018

Mobility is an important aspect of the lives of religious individuals described by medieval texts in early and late medieval Ireland, and biogeochemical methods can be used to detect mobility in archaeological populations. Stories are recorded of monks and nuns traveling and founding monasteries across Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, and other areas of Europe. However, these texts rarely address the quotidian lives of average monks and nuns who lived in monastic communities. This dissertation seeks to understand if travel was a typical part of the experiences of religious and lay people in early and late medieval Ireland. It also aims …

Contributors
Alonzi, Elise, Knudson, Kelly, Hegmon, Michelle, et al.
Created Date
2018

Understanding the resilience of water management systems is critical for the continued existence and growth of communities today, in urban and rural contexts alike. In recent years, many studies have evaluated long-term human-environmental interactions related to water management across the world, highlighting both resilient systems and those that eventually succumb to their vulnerabilities. To understand the multitude of factors impacting resilience, scholars often use the concept of adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity is the ability of actors in a system to make adaptations in anticipation of and in response to change to minimize potential negative impacts. In this three-paper dissertation, I …

Contributors
Klassen, Sarah Elizabeth, Nelson, Ben, Redman, Charles, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation explores how practices and interactions of actors at different scales structure social networks and lead to the emergence of social complexity in middle range societies. To investigate this process, I apply a complex adaptive systems approach and a methodology that combines network science with analytical tools from economics to the three sub-periods of the Prehistoric Bronze Age (The Philia Phase, PreBA 1 and PreBA 2) on Cyprus, a transformational period marked by social and economic changes evident in the material record. Using proxy data representative of three kinds of social interactions or facets of social complexity, the control …

Contributors
Swantek, Laura Anne, Barton, C. Michael, Spielmann, Katherine, et al.
Created Date
2017

Bioarchaeologists often use dental data and spatial analysis of cemeteries to infer the biological and social structure of ancient communities. This approach is commonly referred to as biological distance (“biodistance”) analysis. While permanent crown data feature prominently in these efforts, few studies have verified the accuracy of biodistance methods for recognizing child relatives using deciduous teeth. Thus, as subadults comprise an essential demographic subset of mortuary assemblages, deciduous phenotypes may represent a critical but underutilized source of information on the underlying genetic structure of past populations. The goal of the dissertation is to​ quantitatively analyze the developmental program underlying deciduous …

Contributors
Paul, Kathleen Siobhan, Stojanowski, Christopher M., Buikstra, Jane E., et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation research employs biological distance and mortuary analyses in tandem with historical sources to investigate the degree to which conversion, as opposed to migration, contributed to the spread of Islam in southern Iberia. The dynamics of the 8th century conquest of Iberia by Muslim Arab and Berber forces from North Africa, and the subsequent 800-year period of religious, political, and social change, remain contested and poorly understood. Migration of Islamic peoples to the peninsula once was invoked as the primary vehicle of Islamic influence, but religious conversion, whether true or nominal, increasingly is regarded as a key component of …

Contributors
Bolhofner, Katelyn Louise, Buikstra, Jane E., Stojanowski, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2017

This project investigates social mobility in premodern states through a contextualized program of isotopic research at the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, Mexico. Due to the lack of a concrete methodology that can be used to recover information concerning rates of social mobility from archaeological remains, many traditional archaeological models either ignore social mobility or assume that boundaries between socioeconomic strata within archaic states were largely impermeable. In this research, I develop a new methodological approach to the identification of socially mobile individuals in the archaeological record based on changes in the diet across the lifecourse that can be detected through …

Contributors
Nado, Kristin, Buikstra, Jane E, Knudson, Kelly J, et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation uses a comparative approach to investigate long-term human- environment interrelationships in times of climate change. It uses Geographical Information Systems and ecological models to reconstruct the Magdalenian (~20,000- 14,000 calibrated years ago) environments of the coastal mountainous zone of Cantabria (Northwest Spain) and the interior valleys of the Dordogne (Southwest France) to contextualize the social networks that could have formed during a time of high climate and resource variability. It simulates the formation of such networks in an agent-based model, which documents the processes underlying the formation of archaeological assemblages, and evaluates the potential impacts of climate-topography interactions …

Contributors
Gravel-Miguel, Claudine, Barton, C. Michael, Coudart, Anick, et al.
Created Date
2017

The South African Middle Stone Age (MSA), spanning the Middle to Late Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 8-3) witnessed major climatic and environmental change and dramatic change in forager technological organization including lithic raw material selection. Homo sapiens emerged during the MSA and had to make decisions about how to organize technology to cope with environmental stressors, including lithic raw material selection, which can effect tool production and application, and mobility. This project studied the role and importance of lithic raw materials in the technological organization of foragers by focusing on why lithic raw material selection sometimes changed when the …

Contributors
Oestmo, Simen, Marean, Curtis W, Barton, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2017

In the proposed project I simultaneously and reflexively identify and characterize social boundaries in the archaeological record by examining material culture distributions in novel ways to re-assess the scale of the Verde Confederacy, a proposed regional-scale multi-settlement alliance in Late Prehistoric central Arizona. I focus on boundaries between entities larger than villages, but smaller than regions or culture areas. I propose three innovations to better accomplish these goals. First, unlike previous conceptualizations of social boundaries as monolithic, I argue that they are better conceived of as a heterogeneous, multi-faceted phenomenon. Second, I investigate social boundaries by examining multiple lines of …

Contributors
Watkins, Christopher Norman, Abbott, David R, Michelaki, Konstantina-Eleni, et al.
Created Date
2016

This study frames research on board games within a body of anthropological theory and method to examine the long-term social changes that effect play and mechanisms through which play may influence societal change. Drawing from ethnographic literature focusing on the performative nature of games and their effectiveness at providing a method for strengthening social bonds through grounding, I examine changes in the places in which people engaged in play over the course of the Bronze Age on Cyprus (circa 2500¬–1050 BCE), a period of increasing social complexity. The purpose of this research is to examine how the changes in social …

Contributors
Crist, Walter, Jonsson, Hjorleifur, Serwint, Nancy, et al.
Created Date
2016