Bioarchaeology of Climate Change and Violence: Revisiting my work from UNLV
Please join us in this UNLV Anthropology Talk, given by Dr. Ryan Herrod. Dr. Herrod is the Dean of Academic Affairs at Garrett College. Audience members can attend the live stream in-person (in CBC C120) or register to attend online.
The focus of this talk is to explore what bioarchaeology can tell us about how humans adapt or fail to adapt to climate change in the past. Dr. Debra and Martin and I have thought about this topic for a decade when I was enrolled in this same proseminar course at UNLV. Biological anthropology as a discipline can help further our understanding of climate or environmental change because we are dedicated to understanding how humans are adapting and evolving to the world they live in. The interpretation of the behavior of people in the past when faced with dietary stress, water shortages, regional, conflict and more was informed by research that focuses on how people are dealing with these same issues today. There are several external factors that can force people to relocate from their homelands and attempt to resettle in neighboring, or even, foreign areas. These include the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, scarcity of water, productive land for livelihoods, food security, and potential for conflicts linked to competition over scarce resources. Based on reconstructions of the estimated number of people in an area, chance of warfare, and availability of food resources, there is evidence to suggest that when stress is particularly high people must find ways of adapting and the approach differs based on a cultural, political, and ideological factors that need to be considered beyond the environment. The value of looking at the human skeletal remains and archaeological context through a biocultural perspective is that it illustrates how as local conditions changed people attempted to find ways to adapt to the changing environment.
Open to all members of the broader UNLV community
Department of Anthropology