Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Jason L. Toohey

Abstract

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to model the Andean coastline and reviewing literature to compile Holocene epoch archaeological sites are vital, preliminary steps in beginning research on an overall, interdisciplinary project currently titled: “12,000 Years of Life by the Sea: Bringing Holocene Archaeological Data to Bear on Human-Coastal Interaction and Contemporary Coastal Ecology and Conservation.” The greater project aims to address broad questions regarding long-term climate change, the periodicity and intensity of El Niño events, and coastal ecology and conservation through the application of archaeological data from the coastline of Peru. By modeling bathymetry, classifying potential coastline levels throughout the Holocene, and beginning to identify archaeological sites that contain evidence of the use of marine resources, researchers can prioritize future surveys and excavations, and begin to establish prehistoric baselines for marine fisheries. The greater project seeks to make archaeological data and analysis more relevant to critical issues in contemporary society. Through the preliminary research of this project, we can identify differences in sea levels through time, where prehistoric settlements were situated in relation to the changing coastlines, and better understand the intensity of prehistoric fishing and marine resource procurement. With this information, we can begin to address both present and future problems regarding sustainability, climate change, El Niño events, and the ecology and conservation of modern, industrial-level fisheries along the Andean coast.

Comments

Acknowledgements:

A big thank you to Dr. Jason L. Toohey in the University of Wyoming Anthropology department for helping with this project.

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