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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UC Merced Department of Anthropology researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Ancient genomes from the Himalayas illuminate the genetic history of Tibetans and their Tibeto-Burman speaking neighbors.

(2022)

Present-day Tibetans have adapted both genetically and culturally to the high altitude environment of the Tibetan Plateau, but fundamental questions about their origins remain unanswered. Recent archaeological and genetic research suggests the presence of an early population on the Plateau within the past 40 thousand years, followed by the arrival of subsequent groups within the past 10 thousand years. Here, we obtain new genome-wide data for 33 ancient individuals from high elevation sites on the southern fringe of the Tibetan Plateau in Nepal, who we show are most closely related to present-day Tibetans. They derive most of their ancestry from groups related to Late Neolithic populations at the northeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau but also harbor a minor genetic component from a distinct and deep Paleolithic Eurasian ancestry. In contrast to their Tibetan neighbors, present-day non-Tibetan Tibeto-Burman speakers living at mid-elevations along the southern and eastern margins of the Plateau form a genetic cline that reflects a distinct genetic history. Finally, a comparison between ancient and present-day highlanders confirms ongoing positive selection of high altitude adaptive alleles.

Cover page of The Life and Death of a Child: Mortuary and Bodily Manifestations of Coast-Interior Interactions during the Late Formative Period (AD 100-400), Northern Chile

The Life and Death of a Child: Mortuary and Bodily Manifestations of Coast-Interior Interactions during the Late Formative Period (AD 100-400), Northern Chile

(2022)

Camelid pastoralism, agriculture, sedentism, surplus production, increasing cultural complexity, and interregional interaction during northern Chile's Late Formative period (AD 100–400) are seen in the flow of goods and people over expanses of desert. Consolidating evidence of material culture from these interactions with a bioarchaeological dimension allows us to provide details about individual lives and patterns in the Late Formative more generally. Here, we integrate a variety of skeletal, chemical, and archaeological data to explore the life and death of a small child (Calate-3N.7). By taking a multiscalar approach, we present a narrative that considers not only the varied materiality that accompanies this child but also what the child's life experience was and how this reflects and shapes our understanding of the Late Formative period in northern Chile. This evidence hints at the profound mobility of their youth. The complex mortuary context reflects numerous interactions and long-distance relationships. Ultimately, the evidence speaks to deep social relations between two coastal groups, the Atacameños and Tarapaqueños. Considering this suite of data, we can see a child whose life was spent moving through desert routes and perhaps also glimpse the construction of intercultural identity in the Formative period.

Building Cultural Heritage Resilience through Remote Sensing: An Integrated Approach Using Multi-Temporal Site Monitoring, Datafication, and Web-GL Visualization

(2021)

In the American West, wildfires and earthquakes are increasingly threatening the archaeological, historical, and tribal resources that define the collective identity and connection with the past for millions of Americans. The loss of said resources diminishes societal understanding of the role cultural heritage plays in shaping our present and future. This paper examines the viability of employing stationary and SLAM-based terrestrial laser scanning, close-range photogrammetry, automated surface change detection, GIS, and WebGL visualization techniques to enhance the preservation of cultural resources in California. Our datafication approach combines multi-temporal remote sensing monitoring of historic features with legacy data and collaborative visualization to document and evaluate how environmental threats affect built heritage. We tested our methodology in response to recent environmental threats from wildfire and earthquakes at Bodie, an iconic Gold Rush-era boom town located on the California and Nevada border. Our multi-scale results show that the proposed approach effectively integrates highly accurate 3D snapshots of Bodie’s historic buildings before/after disturbance, or post-restoration, with surface change detection and online collaborative visualization of 3D geospatial data to monitor and preserve important cultural resources at the site. This study concludes that the proposed workflow enhances the monitoring of at-risk California’s cultural heritage and makes a call to action to employ remote sensing as a pathway to advanced planning.

Cover page of Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 4: Comparing Urban Population Densities in 19th Century China and France

Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 4: Comparing Urban Population Densities in 19th Century China and France

(2021)

A Primer of Regional Systems Theory and Methods for the Study of Historical Economies, Societies and Polities, and their Integration into the Modern World System. Presents a methodology for mapping and comparing 19th Century Urban Population Densities between China and France.

Cover page of Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 1: Urban Systems in 19th Century France

Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 1: Urban Systems in 19th Century France

(2021)

A Primer of Regional Systems Theory and Methods for the Study of Historical Economies, Societies and Polities, and their Integration into the Modern World System. Example of France in the 19th century.

Cover page of Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 3: Urban Systems in 19th Century China

Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 3: Urban Systems in 19th Century China

(2021)

A Primer of Regional Systems Theory and Methods for the Study of Historical Economies, Societies and Polities, and their Integration into the Modern World System. Example of Urban Systems in 19th Century China.

Cover page of Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 2: Cities and Water Transportation in 19th Century France

Mapping Political Economies over Time, GIS Exercise 2: Cities and Water Transportation in 19th Century France

(2021)

A Primer of Regional Systems Theory and Methods for the Study of Historical Economies, Societies and Polities, and their Integration into the Modern World System. Example of Cities in relation to Navigable Waterways in 19th Century France.

THE MAUSOLEUM ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT: REINTERPRETING PALENQUE'S TEMPLE OF THE INSCRIPTIONS THROUGH 3D DATA-DRIVEN ARCHITECTURAL ANALYSIS

(2021)

Abstract The Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque, Mexico, is an outstanding example of Classic Maya architecture erected in the seventh century as the funerary building for ruler K'inich Janab Pakal. For decades, scholars have speculated on its construction sequence and the potential existence of hidden rooms on either side of Pakal's mortuary chamber. This article aims to advance understanding of the Temple's architectural context in light of new 3D data. After reviewing the application of drone-based photogrammetry and terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging in the Maya area, we argue that these techniques are capable of enhancing the architectural analysis of the Temple of the Inscriptions and showing that this structure was part of a larger architectural project, encompassing the adjacent Temple XIII, and the connecting stepped building platform. Our findings demonstrate that the basal platforms for the Temple of the Inscriptions and Temple XIII were erected contemporaneously and that the design of their mortuary chambers follows a tripartite layout we identified in Palenque's elite funerary architecture and associated mortuary practices. We conclude that these three buildings were part of a mausoleum architectural project, the construction of which was initiated by Pakal to reshape Palenque's site-core and enshrine the ruling family's power and ancestors.

Cover page of Temporal, spatial and gender-based dietary differences in middle period San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: A model-based approach.

Temporal, spatial and gender-based dietary differences in middle period San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: A model-based approach.

(2021)

To explore the possible emergence and lived consequences of social inequality in the Atacama, we analyzed a large set (n = 288) of incredibly well preserved and contextualized human skeletons from the broad Middle Period (AD 500-1000) of the San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) oases. In this work, we explore model-based paleodietary reconstruction of the results of stable isotope analysis of human bone collagen and hydroxyapatite. The results of this modeling are used to explore local phenomena, the nature of the Middle Period, and the interaction between local situations and the larger world in which the oases were enmeshed by identifying the temporal, spatial, and biocultural correlates and dimensions of dietary difference. Our analyses revealed that: 1) over the 600-year period represented by our sample, there were significant changes in consumption patterns that may evince broad diachronic changes in the structure of Atacameño society, and 2) at/near 600 calAD, there was a possible episode of social discontinuity that manifested in significant changes in consumption practices. Additionally, while there were some differences in the level of internal dietary variability among the ayllus, once time was fully considered, none of the ayllus stood out for having a more (or less) clearly internally differentiated cuisine. Finally, sex does not appear to have been a particularly salient driver of observed dietary differences here. While we do not see any de facto evidence for complete dietary differentiation (as there is always overlap in consumption among individuals, ayllus, and time periods, and as isotopic analysis is not capable of pinpointing different foods items or preparations), there are broad aspects of dietary composition changing over time that are potentially linked to status, and foreignness. Ultimately, these stand as the clearest example of what has been termed "gastro-politics," potentially tied to the emergence of social inequality in the San Pedro oases.