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Department of Anthropology pres.

The Roy A. Rappaport Lectures: "Patagonian Prehistory: Human Ecology and Cultural Evolution in the Land of Giants"

"The Mysterious Middle Holocene" by Professor Raven Garvey

Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures
Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures
"Climate scientists have shown that the middle Holocene (8000 – 4000 years ago) was characterized by increased temperatures and prolonged droughts in several world regions, including Patagonia. As in other affected areas, there are gaps in Patagonia’s archaeological record coincident with middle Holocene droughts. This is often interpreted in terms of population decline, particularly since much of Patagonia is arid even in non-drought years. In this lecture, Garvey presents data that indicate middle Holocene droughts may not have had a negative effect—and perhaps even had a positive one—on foraging efficiency in Patagonia, and that population decline is not the most likely explanation for the region’s sparse middle Holocene record."

This lecture series presents a book manuscript titled Patagonian Prehistory, Human Ecology and Cultural Evolution in the Land of Giants. Following an introduction to the region and some of its archaeological puzzles, Dr. Raven Garvey will describe novel hypotheses related to colonization, abandonment, and meeting basic needs in a region widely considered marginal for human habitation. In particular, this series will examine unconventional evidence for gauging colonization speed, alternative explanations for a purported abandonment of the region between 8000 and 4000 years ago, and reasons Patagonians might have remained foragers despite farming-favorable conditions.

Lectures will be held at 3:00 p.m. on
September 13, 2019
October 11, 2019
November 15, 2019
& December 6, 2019
in the Forum Hall, Palmer Commons


The Roy A. Rappaport Lectures are a series of lectures on a work in progress, designed both as free public lectures and as a special course for advanced students to work closely with a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology on a topic in which the instructor has an intensive current interest. As the description written by Professor Roy “Skip” Rappaport in 1976 states, “…it offers the opportunity for other students and faculty to hear a colleague in an extended discussion of their own work.”
Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures
Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures

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