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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
Date Range
2012 2019


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 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

This study explores how early modern humans used stone tool technology to adapt to changing climates and coastlines in the Middle Stone Age of South Africa. The MSA is associated with the earliest fossil evidence for modern humans and complex cultural behaviors during a time period of dramatic climate change. Human culture allows for the creation, use, and transmission of technological knowledge that can evolve with changing environmental conditions. Understanding the interactions between technology and the environment is essential to illuminating the role of culture during the origin of our species. This study is focused on understanding ancient tool use …

Contributors
Schoville, Benjamin, Marean, Curtis W, Barton, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2016

Despite nearly five decades of archaeological research in the Romanian Carpathian basin and adjacent areas, how human foragers organized their stone artifact technologies under varying environmental conditions remains poorly understood. Some broad generalizations have been made; most work in the region is concerned primarily with descriptive and definitional issues rather than efforts to explain past human behavior or human-environmental interactions. Modern research directed towards understanding human adaptation to different environments remains in its infancy. Grounded in the powerful conceptual framework of evolutionary ecology and utilizing recent methodological advances, this work has shown that shifts in land-use strategies changes the opportunities …

Contributors
Popescu, Gabriel Marius, Barton, Charles Michael, Clark, Geoffrey A, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

The Middle Stone Age archaeological record from the south coast of South Africa contains significant evidence for early modern human behavior. The south coast is within the modern Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR), which in the present-day encompasses the entirety of South Africa’s Winter Rainfall Zone (WRZ) and contains unique vegetation elements that have been hypothesized to be of high utility to hunter-gatherer populations. Extant paleoenvironmental proxy records for the Pleistocene in the region often indicate evidence for more open environments during the past than occur in the area in the present-day, while climate models suggest glacial presence of the …

Contributors
Williams, Hope Marie, Marean, Curtis W, Knudson, Kelly J, et al.
Created Date
2015

In recent years, southern Africa has figured prominently in the modern human origins debate due to increasing evidence for precocious behaviors considered to be unique to our species. These significant findings have included bone tools, shell beads, engraved ostrich eggshell, and heavily ground and engraved ochre fragments. The presence of ochre in Middle Stone Age (MSA, ~250-40kya) archaeological sites in southern Africa is often proposed as indirect evidence for the emergence of symbolic or artistic behavior, a uniquely modern human trait. However, there is no remaining artwork from this period and there is significant debate about what the ochre may …

Contributors
Bernatchez, Jocelyn A., Marean, Curtis W, Bearat, Hamdallah, et al.
Created Date
2012

The ability of Neandertals to cope with the oscillating climate of the late Pleistocene and the extent to which these climate changes affected local Neandertal habitats remain unanswered anthropological topics of considerable scientific interest. Understanding the impact of climatic instability on Neandertals is critical for reconstructing the behaviors of our closest fossil relatives and possibly identifying factors that contributed to their extinction. My work aimed to test the hypotheses that 1) cold climates stressed Neandertal populations, and 2) that global climate changes affected local Neandertal habitats. An analysis of Neandertal butchering on Cervus elaphus, Rangifer tarandus, and Capreolus capreolus skeletal …

Contributors
Hodgkins, Jamie, Marean, Curtis W, Reed, Kaye E, et al.
Created Date
2012

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