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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.


Status
  • Public
Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


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

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

This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the products of a few concentrated pottery producers developed in the absence of political centralization or hierarchical social arrangements. The factors that promoted intensified pottery production, therefore, are the keys to addressing how economic systems can expand in small-scale and middle-range societies. This dissertation constructs a multi-factor model that explores changes to the organization of decorated pottery production during a substantial portion of the pre-Classic period (AD 700 - AD 1020). …

Contributors
Kelly, Sophia Elizabeth, Abbott, David R., Darling, J. Andrew, et al.
Created Date
2013

This research uses Peircean Semiotics to model the evolution of symbolic behavior in the human lineage and the potential material correlates of this evolutionary process in the archaeological record. The semiotic model states the capacity for symbolic behavior developed in two distinct stages. Emergent capacities are characterized by the sporadic use of non-symbolic and symbolic material culture that affects information exchange between individuals. Symbolic exchange will be rare. Mobilized capacities are defined by the constant use of non-symbolic and symbolic objects that affect both interpersonal and group-level information exchange. Symbolic behavior will be obligatory and widespread. The model was tested …

Contributors
Culley, Elisabeth Vasser, Clark, Geoffrey A, Barton, C. Michael, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

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

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

Population growth, social interaction, and environmental variability are interrelated facets of the same complex system. Tracing the flow of food, water, information, and energy within these social-ecological systems is essential for understanding their long-term behavior. Leveraging an archaeological perspective of how past societies coevolved with their natural environments will be critical to anticipating the impact of impending climate change on farming communities in the developing world. However, there is currently a lack of formal, quantitative theory rooted in first principles of human behavior that can predict the empirical regularities of the archaeological record in semiarid regions. Through a series of …

Contributors
Gauthier, Nicolas, Barton, C Michael, Anderies, John M, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation research investigates both spatial and temporal aspects of Bronze Age land use and land cover in the Eastern Mediterranean using botanical macrofossils of charcoal and charred seeds as sources of proxy data. Comparisons through time and over space using seed and charcoal densities, seed to charcoal ratios, and seed and charcoal identifications provide a comprehensive view of island vs. mainland vegetative trajectories through the critical 1000 year time period from 2500 BC to 1500 BC of both climatic fluctuation and significant anthropogenic forces. This research focuses particularly on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus during this crucial interface of …

Contributors
Klinge, Joanna Marie, Fall, Patricia L, Falconer, Steven E, et al.
Created Date
2013

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