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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"

"Foragers in a World of Farmers" by Professor Raven Garvey

Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures
Fall 2019 Roy A. Rappaport Lectures
"Patagonia is one of relatively few world regions beyond the Arctic/Subarctic where farming never took root. This is intriguing because northern Patagonians lived alongside and interacted with farmers for at least 2000 years. Nevertheless, we seldom ask why Patagonians didn’t farm, perhaps because of the region’s reputation as a windswept wasteland, or because Patagonia’s population appears to have been too small to have warranted the effort. In this lecture, Garvey demonstrate that, in fact, dryland farming was possible in parts of Patagonia, and that growing populations could have benefitted from farming in late prehistory. She argues that risks associated with farming might simply have been too great despite potential benefits."

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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