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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Subject
Date Range
2010 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

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

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

This dissertation focuses on the diversity inherent to the process of social community construction. Building upon previous archaeological and bioarchaeological studies of community identities, the current project emphasizes the need for consideration of the impact of diversity on community identity formation in the past and illustrates the utility of a bioarchaeological approach for undertaking this task. Three specific aspects of community formation are addressed: (1) the relationship between symbolic community boundaries and geographic space, (2) the influence of diverse discourses of intra-community sub-groups on community formation, and (3) the negotiation of community boundaries by outsiders. To investigate these aspects of ...

Contributors
Marsteller, Sara Jane, Knudson, Kelly J, Buikstra, Jane E, et al.
Created Date
2015

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 dissertation investigates socio-economic strategies adopted by a small craftworking community situated on the edge of one of the earliest, largest and most complex cities in Mesoamerica. The focus of investigation is San Jose 520, a hamlet located on the southeastern margin of Teotihuacan and occupied primarily during the Tlamimilolpa and Xolalpan phases (ca. A.D. 200-500). Its inhabitants were potters of low socio-economic status living in small, architecturally simple residential structures. The investigation complements much more numerous studies of higher-status groups residing in Teotihuacan's famous apartment compounds, much larger and architecturally more formal structures clustered primarily within built-up parts of ...

Contributors
Cabrera Cortés, Mercedes Oralia, Stark, Barbara L., Cowgill, George L., et al.
Created Date
2011

This research focuses upon the intersection of social complexity and leadership among commoners in complex societies as expressed through mortuary ritual. I study how ideology, materialized through treatment of the deceased body, was a potential source of power among commoners in ancient Maya society and how this materialization changed through time. Mortuary data are drawn from mid-level settlements of the Belize River Valley, located in western Belize within the eastern Maya lowlands. The primary research question addresses whether mid-level leaders in the Belize River Valley targeted certain human bodies for ancestral veneration through tomb re-entry and ritual interaction with skeletal ...

Contributors
Novotny, Anna, Buikstra, Jane E, Carr, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2015

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.