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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.


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Subject
Date Range
2010 2020


People come together and form communities in cities across the world but the processes behind community formation are not well understood. Some researchers theorize that having populations with similar characteristics is important; others argue that the existence of public spaces for interaction is key. I use archaeological data collected over six seasons of field work and archival data from The Granada Relocation Center (Amache) National Historic Landmark, a World War II (WWII) Japanese American incarceration center in Southeastern Colorado, to demonstrate the role that participation in previous social communities has on the formation of new social networks. The concept of …

Contributors
Kamp-Whittaker, April Elizabeth, Smith, Michael E., BurnSilver, Shauna, et al.
Created Date
2020

Exchange is fundamental to the establishment and maintenance of social institutions and political economies in all scales of societies. While today people rapidly exchange goods and information over great distances, in the past, long-distance exchange necessitated the mobilization of vast networks of interaction with substantial transport costs. Objects traded over long distances were often valuable and challenging to obtain, granting them multifaceted significance that is difficult to understand using traditional archaeological approaches. This research examines human interactions with scarlet macaws (Ara macao) in the United States (U.S.) Southwest and Mexican Northwest (SW/NW) between 900 and 1450 CE. This period saw …

Contributors
Schwartz, Christopher Warren, Nelson, Ben A, Knudson, Kelly J, et al.
Created Date
2020

What causes social systems to resist change? Studies of the emergence of social complexity in archaeology have focused primarily on drivers of change with much less emphasis on drivers of stability. Social stability, or the persistence of social systems, is an essential feature without which human society is not possible. By combining quantitative modeling (Exponential Random Graph Modeling) and the comparative archaeological record where the social system is represented by networks of relations between settlements, this research tests several hypotheses about social and geographic drivers of social stability with an explicit focus on a better understanding of contexts and processes …

Contributors
Cegielski, Wendy Hope, Barton, Michael, Kintigh, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2020

The primary focus of this research is the poorly understood relationship between water insufficiency and broad-scale social change, in the semi-arid lower Salt River Valley, in central Arizona. The overarching research question guiding this research is if water insufficiency could have prompted sociopolitical change among the Hohokam. Specifically, the research investigates if long-term water deficits were a catalyst for the two most consequential transformations in Hohokam history – the Preclassic/Classic transition (A.D. 1070-1100/1150) and the early to late Classic period transition (ca. A.D. 1300). This research used extensive historical aerial photographs and cultural resource management excavation data to complete the …

Contributors
Caseldine, Christopher Robert, Abbott, David R., Carr, Christopher G., et al.
Created Date
2020

Archaeologists have long contended that large-scale human migrations played an essential role in the cultural development of pre-Hispanic central Mexico. During the Epiclassic period (600-900 CE), migration is implicated in the appearance of new forms of material culture, sociopolitical disruptions, and the emergence of new regional polities. Sweeping social changes accompanied these developments, including demographic reorganization and increased levels of violence. Research across the social sciences finds that violence directed at individuals perceived as categorically distinct also typically increases during such periods of socio-political upheaval. This dissertation investigates identity-based violence in the Epiclassic Basin of Mexico to consider how diverse …

Contributors
Pacheco-Forés, Sofía Isabel, Buikstra, Jane E., Knudson, Kelly J., et al.
Created Date
2020

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

I propose a new approach for the analysis of social transformations within the context of colonialism. Drawing on concepts used by historical sociologists, combined with insights from historians and archaeologists, I forge a synthesis of relational mechanisms that concatenated into processes of categorical change. Within the social sciences, mechanisms are formally defined as specific classes of events or social interactions that are causally linked and tend to repeat under specific conditions, potentially resulting in widespread social transformations. Examples of mechanisms include formal inscription through spatial segregation and adjustments in individual position through socioeconomic mobility. For New Spain, historians have identified …

Contributors
Eschbach, Krista, Stark, Barbara L, Smith, Michael E, 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

There is an ongoing debate around the extent that anthropogenic processes influence both plant species distribution dynamics and plant biodiversity patterns. Past human food use may leave a strong legacy on not only the extent that food plants are dispersed and fill their potential geographic ranges, but also on food plant species richness in areas that have been densely populated by humans through time. The persistent legacy of plant domestication on contemporary species composition has been suggested to be significant in some regions. However, little is known about the effects that past human food use has had on the biogeography …

Contributors
Flower, Carolyn, Blonder, Benjamin, Hodgson, Wendy, et al.
Created Date
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