ANTH 204:  HUMAN ECOLOGY (Section 1)

Spring 2014


Instructor: Marie-Lorraine Pipes, MA, RPA, ABD

585-742-3185 cell email

Office: 13F Sturges                                                                             Class location: 116 Fraser

Office hours: MF 11-12 am                                                                  Class meets MF 1-2:15 pm

The field of Human Ecology is multi-disciplinary involving principles and ideas from the hard sciences, social sciences and humanities. There are many approaches to the study of Human Ecology. This course is archaeological in perspective and takes a temporal long view of the historical cultural forces and natural processes that shaped the modern world. Humans have affected the world for several thousand years during which time they have had to make drastic adjustments in subsistence practices and habitat. Archaeology provides information on land use practices, plant and animal exploitation strategies, landscape modifications, and human adaptations to shifting climates and ecosystems. It examines anthropogenic processes that result in a decrease in biodiversity. As the world shrinks, the long view provides some guidance on how to proceed and what to expect when dealing with issues of land-use practices, degradation and development, over-exploitation of natural resources and mounting pollution.

This course is divided into five parts: theory and method, Paleolithic/Pleistocene adaptations, Early-mid Neolithic adaptations and impacts, Later Neolithic/Bronze age adaptations and impacts, Modern Age adaptations, impacts and pressing issues.

Required Texts:

Berkes, F.

2012 Sacred Ecology. Routledge, New York.

Moran, E. F.

2008 Human Adaptability, An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology. Westview Press, Boulder Colorado.

Redman, C.

1999 Human Impacts on Ancient Environments. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Social Science Core

It is expected that by the end of the semester the student will have a clear understanding of the core concepts of cultural anthropology, including theoretical, empirical and methodological approaches. Furthermore the student will be aware of key areas research, current issues, multi- viewpoints, and conflicts in philosophy, politics, and beliefs.

Learning Outcomes

(1)   Students will participate in group discussions in class concerning major empirical, analytical, and theoretical approaches to the study of human ecology.                                '

(2)   Students will demonstrate knowledge of key climatic and environmental issues affecting ancient and modern populations by preparing a PowerPoint on a specific cultural group and archaeological site.

(3)   Students will demonstrate their comprehension of some major issues involving social conflicts regarding issues of climate change, decreasing biodiversity and environmental degradation by summarizing current articles on specific subjects.

(4)   Students will demonstrate broad knowledge of human ecology issues by writing three topical exams.

(5)   Students will demonstrate an understanding of the intersection of approaches to environmental conservation of native peoples and non-native organizations by writing a paper on three chapters of the Berkes text.

Course requirements:

3 Exams (non-cumulative)                                                                                45% (15% each)

2 Article summaries                                                                                          10% (5% each)

( These will be assigned to you. A format will be given)

1 PowerPoint Presentation

(10 minutes in length. On a specific culture and archaeological site. This will be assigned to you. You will email me the draft 1 class before presenting it in class)

1 Book report

(3 chapters of your choice out of the Berkes text.

Minimum 6 pages single spaced to be delivered as a hardcopy)


Grading and Important Dates Grades

A 94 and above

A-93 - 90 B+ 89 - 87 B 86 - 83 B-82 - 80 C+ 79 - 77

Attendance. Lateness. Withdrawal

You are required to attend all classes, and to arrive and leave on time. Attendance is important. Class lectures are used to expand on topics covered in the text, to introduce additional important information, and to clarify course material and assignments. Except for serious illness (doctor's note), religious beliefs or death (obituary), the student is expected to be in class. Students are responsible for all material covered in class, whether thev are absent or not. If you are on a team and will be absent for meets and games please see me during office hours.

You must present me with your schedule.

Spring Break

The class will not meet the week of March 17-21 due to Spring Break.


The class is designed to facilitate learning. Please be courtedus to fellow students. Cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices should be turned off during class. Classroom activities should focus on material relating to anthropology, however ~ not to any other aspect of the student's daily life. Failure to respect fellow students will be treated the same as lateness.

Academic Honesty

Cheating, plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty will result in, at the minimum, a failing grade. Accommodation

SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional or learning disabilities. Students should contact the Director in the Office of Disability Services (105D Erwin) and their faculty to discuss needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.

Religious Holidays

SUNY Geneseo allows students to be absent due to religious obligations.

Emergency Closings

If the College is closed due to inclement weather or some other emergency, Rochester area radio and television stations will be notified no later than 5:30 a.m. In addition, the Geneseo College homepage on will display a message indicating the College is closed.

Class Cancellation

Class cancellation information is available daily on the web or through the telephone.


Week Date Topic Readings


Theory, Methods, and Cultural Attitudes





Course Introduction - objective, requirements, general concepts Redman Ch.1-2; Hayadisha 2005, Roy 13





Theoretical framework - development of the field of human ecology, Methodological approaches Moran Ch.1,3, Redman Ch.3

Article summaries: Balee 06, Hardesty 08, Graham, Redman 05





People in Ecosystems - the relationship between humans and the environment Moran Ch.2

Article summaries: Briggs 06, Johnson05, Salmon 00




3 2.3

Paleolithic/Paleo Phase: Huntei' Gatherers, extreme environment adaptations

The Pleistocene - Ice Age Environments Moran Ch.5

Article summaries: Macko 99, Kellman 98, Rogers 91, Foster 04,





Transition to Holocene environments, climate change, mega extinctions, population movements Article summaries: Mighal 95, Woollett 07, Jochim 99, Roberts





Adaptations to extreme environments: high altitude, dessert, arctic Moran Ch. 6, 7




Set 1 PowerPoint Presentations





Exam 1




Early-Middle Neolithic/Archaic Phase: Plant and animal domestications, fire as a tool, extraction industries, landscape modifications



Environmental change and spatial analysis Moran Ch. 4

Article summaries: McGovern 88, Stewart 04, Andric 03, Hansen 02





Plant and animal domestications, affects on wild species, forest clearing, effects of hunting in localized areas, Redman Ch.4

Article summaries: Hirons 90, Bliege 08, Grissino 04, Zeder 08 n=




Spread of early agriculture, settlements, population densities, coppicing, early extractions Redman Ch. 5

Article summaries: Piperno 11, Prices 11, Smith 02, Weiss 06





Set 2 PowerPoint Presentations




Late Neolithic/Bronze Age/Woodland: Intensive agriculture, transformative industries, landscape modifications





Soils and agriculture, impacts of intensive farming Redman Ch. 6-7

Article summaries: Nelson 09, Grzymski 04, Shipton 94, Fish 00, Kohler 04,





Transformative industries, mining, deforestation, pollution Redman Ch.7

Article summaries: Renberg 00, Hong 96, Out 13






Week Date Topic Readings



Geomorphology and landscape alterations

Article summaries: Burwell 95, Mitchell 05, Scarborough 03




3.17 3.21

No class. Spring break No class. Spring break





Ancient water management systems, conservation

Article summaries: O'Sullivan 03, Sulas 09, Scarborough 98





Population growth and demographics

Article summaries: Andre 98, Jones 99, Lanata 08, Batten 98





Infectious disease, diet, malnutrition, sanitation

Article summaries: Hu 09, Hume 03, Buckland 93





Set 3 PowerPoints





Exam 2




Issues of the modern world: Iron Age, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Post Colonial Ages





Pastoralism, large scale landscape transformations, collapse of agricultural systems Moran Ch.8

Article summaries: Blench 94, Frachetti 12, Fleming 72, Gifford-Gonzales 00,





Impact of environmental and climate changes on island ecologies and. Rapa Nui Moran Ch. 9

Article summaries: Burney 01, Kirch 07





Set 4 PowerPoint presentations





Biodiversity and conservation biology

Article summaries: German 04, Heckenberger 07, Foster 02





Impact of state societies, industrialization and colonization on local landscapes and people Article summaries: Brumfiel, Crumley 93





The intersection of scientific ecological ideas and TEK ideas -

Article summaries: Dod 04, Lane 11, Povinelli 92





Issue of urban ecology and sustainability.

Moran Ch.10

Article summaries: Dunning 94, Wilkinson 08, Pulido 00




5.5 • 5.12

Set 5 PowerPoint presentations - Last day of class Book reports due

Exam 3 12-3 0pm





Required Articles: You will be assigned 2 articles to summarize for the class. A format will be provided.

Andre, M.F.

1998 Depopulation, Land-Use Change and Landscape Transformation in the French Massif Central.

Ambio. 27(4): 351-353.

Andric, M. and Will, K. J.

2003 The Phytogeographical Regions of Slovenia: A Consequence of Natural Environmental Variation or Prehistoric Human Activity? Journal of Ecology, Vol. 91, No. 5 (Oct., 2003), pp. 807-821.

Balee, W.

2006 The Research Program of Historical Ecology. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 35 (2006), pp. 75-98.

Batten, D. C.

1998      Transport and Urban Growth in Preindustrial Europe: Implications for Archaeology. Human Ecology. Vol. 26, No. 3 (Sep., 1998), pp. 489-516.

Blench, R.

1994      The Expansion and Adaptation of Fulbe Pastoralism to Subhumid and Humid Conditions in Nigeria (L'expansion et l'adaptation du pastoralisme peul aux conditions climatiques humides et subhumides du Nigeria. Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, Vol. 34, Cahier 133/135, (1994), pp. 197-212.

Briggs, J. M., Spielmann, K. A., Schaafsma, H., Kintigh, K. W., Kruse, ML, Kari, and Schollmeyer, K.

2006 Why Ecology Needs Archaeologists and Archaeology Needs Ecologists. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 4, No. 4 (May, 2006), pp. 180-188.

Brown, T. A., Harris, D. R., Rollo F., and Evershed, R. P.

1999      How Ancient DNA May Help in Understanding the Origin and Spread of Agriculture. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vol. 354, No. 1379, (Jan. 29, 1999), pp. 89-98Published

Brumfiel, E. M.

1983 Aztec State Making: Ecology, Structure, and the Origin of the State. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 85, No. 2 (Jun., 1983), pp. 261-284.

Buckland, P. C. and Sadler, J. P.

1993 A Biogeography of the Human Flea, Pulex irritans L. (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Mar., 1989), pp. 115-120.

Burney, D. A., James, H. F., Burney, L. P., O., Storrs L., Kikuchi, W., Wagner, W. L., Burney, M., McCloskey, D., Kikuchi, D., Grady, F. V., Gage II, R. and Nishek, R.

2001 Fossil Evidence for a Diverse Biota from Kaua'i and its transformation since human arrival. Ecological Monographs, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Nov.,' 2001), pp. 615-641.

Burwell, T.

1995      Bootlegging on a Desert Mountain: The Political Ecology of Agave (Agave spp.) Demographic Change in the Sonora River Valley, Sonora, Mexico. Human Ecology, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 407-432.

Crumley, C. L.

1993 Analyzing Historic Ecotonal Shifts. Ecological Applications. Vol. 3, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 377-384.

Dod, R. R.

2004 Knowing Ways/Ways of Knowing: Reconciling Science and Tradition. World Archaeology, Vol. 36, No. 4, (Dec., 2004), pp. 547-557.


Dunning, N. P. and Beach, T.

1994 Archaeology Soil Erosion, Slope Management, and Ancient Terracing in the Maya Lowlands. Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 51-69.

Fish, S. Fish, K.P., Downum, C.

2000 Hohokam Impacts on Sonoran Desert Environment. Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the PreColumbian Americas, ed. D. Lentz. Columbia University Press, New York. 251 - 280.

Fleming, A.

1972 The Genesis of Pastoralism in European Prehistory. World Archaeology. Vol. 4, No. 2, (Oct., 1972), pp. 179-191. Foster, D. R., Hall, B., Barry, S., Clayden and Parshall, T.

2002 Cultural, Environmental and Historical Sylvia Controls of Vegetation Patterns and the Modern Conservation Setting on the Island of Martha's Vineyard, USA. Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 29, No. 10/11, Special Issue: Insights from Historical Geography to Ecology and Conservation: Lessons from the New England Landscape (Oct.-Nov., 2002), pp. 1381-140.

Forster, P.

2004 Ice Ages and the Mitochondrial DNA Chronology of Human Dispersals: A Review. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences. 359(1442): 255-264.

Frachetti, M. D.

2012 Multiregional Emergence of Mobile Pastoralism and Nonuniform Institutional Complexity across Eurasia. Current Anthropology, Vol. 53, No. 1 (February 2012), pp. 2-38.

German, L. A.

2004 Ecological Praixis and Blackwater Ecosystems: A Case Study from the Brazilian Amazon. Human Ecology, Vol. 32, No. 6 (Dec., 2004), pp. 653-683.

Gifford-Gonzalez, D.

2000 Animal Disease Challenges to the Emergence of Pastoralism in Sub-Saharan Africa. The African Archaeological Review. Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 95-139.

Graham, E.

1998 Metaphor and Metamorphism: Some Thoughts on Environmental Metahistory. Advances in Historical Ecology. Columbia University Press, New York.119-140.

Grissino-Mayer, H. D., Romme, W. H. M., Floyd, 1., and Hanna, D. D.

2004 Climatic and Human Influences on Fire Regimes of the Southern San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Ecology, Vol. 85, No. 6 (Jun., 2004), pp. 1708-1724Published

Grzymski, K.

2004      Landscape Archaeology of Nubia and Central Sudan. The African Archaeological Review, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp; 7-30.

Hansen, R.D., Bozarth, S., Jacob, J., Wahl,D., and Schreinere, T.

2002 Climatic and environmental variability in the rise of Maya civilization: A preliminary perspective from northern Peten. Ancient Mesoamerica. 13 (2002), 273-295.

Hardesty, D. L.

2008 Perspectives on Global-Change Archaeology. In Focus: Archaeology of Global Change. Pp. 1 7.

Hayashida, F. M.

2005      Archaeology, Ecological History, and Conservation. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 34 (2005), pp. 43-65.


Heckenberger, M. J., Russell, J. C., Toney, J. R., and Schmidt, M. J.

2007       The Legacy of Cultural Landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon: Implications for Biodiversity. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vol. 362, No. 1478, (Feb. 28, 2007), pp. 197-208.

Hirons, K. R. and Edwards, K. J.

1990 Pollen and Related Studies at Kinloch, Isle of Rhum, Scotland, with Particular Reference to Possible Early Human Impacts on Vegetation. New Phytologist, Vol. 116, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 715-727.

Hong, S., Candelone, J.P., Patterson, C.C. and Boutron, C.F.

1996 History of Ancient Copper Smelting Pollution During Roman and Medieval Times Recorded in Greenland Ice. Science, New Series. 272(5259): 246-249.

Hu, Y., Shang, H., Tong, H., Nehlich, O., Liu, W., Zhao, C., Yu, J., Wang, C., Richards, M. P., and Trinkaus, E. 2009 Stable Isotope Dietary Analysis of the Tianyuan 1 Early Modern Human. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.Vo\. 106, No. 27 (Jul. 7, 2009), pp. 10971-10974.

Hume, J. C. C., Lyons, E. J. and Day, K. P.

2003 Malaria in Antiquity: A Genetics Perspective. World Archaeology. Vol. 35, No. 2, (Oct., 2003), pp. 180-192. Jochim, M., Herhahn, C. and Starr, H.

1999 The Magdalenian Colonization of Southern Germany. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 101, No. 1 (Mar. 1999), pp. 129-142.

Jones, T.L., Brown, G.M., Raab, L.M., McVickar, J.L., Spaulding, W.G., Kennett, D.J., York, A., and Walker, P.L. 1999 Environmental Imperatives Reconsidered: Demographic Crises in Western North America during the Medieval Climatic Anomaly. Current Anthropology. 40(2): 137-170.

Johnson, M.H.

2005 On the Particularism of English Landscape Archaeology. International Journal of Historical Archaeology. 9(2). Kellman, J.

1998 Ice Age Art, Autism, and Vision: How We See/How We Draw. Studies in Art Education. 39(2): 117-131.

Kirch, P. V.

i2007 Hawaii as a Model System for Human Ecodynamics. In Focus: Archaeology Of Global Change.

pp. 8-26.

Kohler, T. A.

2004. Pre-Hispanic Human Impact on Upland North American Southwestern Environments: Evolutionary Ecological Perspectives. The Archaeology of Global Change: The Impact of Humans on Their Environment, eds. C.L. Redman, S.R. James, P.R. Fish, J.D. Rogers. Smithsonian Books, Washington DC. 224-242.

Lanata, J. L., Martino, L., Osella, A., and Garcia-Herbst, A.

2008       Demographic conditions necessary to colonize new spaces: the case for early human dispersal in the Americas. World Archaeology, 40:4, 520-537.

Lane, P.

2011 Possibilities for a postcolonial archaeology in sub-Saharan Africa: indigenous and usable pasts. World Archaeology, 43:1, 7-25.

Macko, S.A., Engel, M.H., Andrusevich, V., Lubec, G., O'Connell, T.C., Hedges, R.E.M., Ambler, R.P., Sykes, B., Griffiths, J.B., Bada, J. and Eglinton, G.


1999      Documenting the Diet in Ancient Human Populations through Stable Isotope Analysis of Hair. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences. 354 (1379): 65-76.

McGovern, T. H., Bigelow, G., Amorosi, T. and Russell, D.

1988 Northern Islands, Human Error, and Environmental Degradation: A View of Social and Ecological Change in the Medieval North Atlantic. Human Ecology, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 225-270.

Mighall, T. M. and Chambers, F. M.

1995 Holocene Vegetation History and Human Impact at Bryn y Castell, Snowdonia, North Wales. New Phytologist, Vol. 130, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 299-321

Mitchell, P. and Whitelaw, G.

2005 The Archaeology of Southernmost Africa from c. 2000 BP to the Early 1800s: A Review of Recent Research. The Journal of African History, Vol. 46, No. 2 (2005), pp. 209-241.

Nelson, J. L., Groninger, J. W., Ruffner, C. M. and Battaglia, L. L.

2009 Bottomland Conservation Area. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. Vol. 136, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 2009), pp. 242-256.

O'Sullivan, A.

2003 Place, Memory and Identity among Estuarine Fishing Communities: Interpreting the Archaeology of Early Medieval-Fish Weirs. World Archaeology, Vol. 35, No. 3, (Dec., 2003), pp. 449-468.

Out, W.A., Vermeeren, C., Hanninen, K.

2013 Branch age and diameter: useful criteria for recognizing woodland management in the present and past? Journal of Archaeological Science. 40:4083-4097.

Piperno. D.R.

2011 The Origins of Plant Cultivation and Domestication in the New World Tropics: Patterns,

Process, and New Developments. Current Anthropology. 52(S4): S453-S470.

Povinelli, E.A.

1992 "Where we gana go now": Foraging practices and their meanings among the Belyuen Australian Aborigines. Human Ecology. 20(2:169-202.

Price, T.D. and Bar-Yosef, O.

2011 The Origins of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas: An Introduction to Supplement 4. Current Anthropology. 52(S4): S163-S174.

Pulido, L.

2000       Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. Vol. 90, No. 1 (Mar., 2000), pp. 12-40.

Redman, C.L.

2005 Resilience Theory in Archaeology. American Anthropologist. 107(1): 70-77.

Renberg, I., Brannvall, M.L., Bindler R. and Emteryd, O.

2000 Atmospheric Lead Pollution History during Four Millennia (2000 BC to 2000 AD) in Sweden. Ambio. 29(3): 150- 156.

Roberts, N.

1998 Early Holocene adaptations (10,000-5,000 BP). The Holicene: An Environmental History. Maiden, Blackwell. 68- 93.

Rogers, R. A., Rogers, L. A., Hoffmann, R. S. and Martin, L. D.

1991 Native American Biological Diversity and the Biogeographic Influence of Ice Age Refugia. Journal of Biogeography. 18(6): 623-630.

Roy, E. D., Morzillo, A. T., Seijo, F., Reddy, S. M. W., Rhemtulla, J. M., Milder, J. C., Kuemmerle, T. and Martin, S. L.

2013 The Elusive Pursuit of Interdisciplinarity at the Human-Environment Interface. Bioscience, Vol. 63, No. 9 (September 2013), pp. 745-753.

Salmon, E.

2000 Kincentric Ecology: Indigenous Perceptions of the Human-Nature Relationship. Ecological Applications, Vol. 10, No. 5 (Oct., 2000), pp. 1327-1332.

Scarborough, V.

1998 Ecology and Ritual: Water management and the Maya. Latin American Antiquity. 9(2):135-159.

Scarborough, V. L.

2003       How to Interpret an Ancient Landscape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 100, No. 8 (Apr. 15, 2003), pp. 4366-4368.

Shipton, P.

1994 Land and Culture in Tropical Africa: Soils, Symbols, and the Metaphysics of the Mundane. Annual Review of Anthropology. Vol. 23 (1994), pp. 347-377.

Stewart, A. M., Keith, D., and Scottie, J.

2004       Caribou Crossings and Cultural Meanings: Placing Traditional Knowledge and Archaeology in Context in an Inuit Landscape. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 11, No. 2, Recent Advances in the Archaeology of Place, Part 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 183-211.

Sulas, F., Madella, M., French, C.

2009 State formation and water resources management in the Horn of Africa: the Aksumite Kingdom of the northern Ethiopian highlands. World Archaeology, 41:1, 2-15.

Weiss, E., Kislev, M.E. and Hartmann, A.

2006       Autonomous Cultivation before Domestication. Science, New Series. 312(5780): 1608-1610.

Wilkinson, T. J., Christiansen, J. H., Ur, J., Widell, M., and Altaweel, M.

2008 Urbanization within a Dynamic Environment: Modeling Bronze Age Communities in Upper Mesopotamia (pages 52-68)

Woollett, J.

2007       Labrador Inuit Subsistence in the Context of Environmental Change: An Initial Landscape History Perspective (pages 69-84).

Zeder, M.A.

2008       Domestication and Early Agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, Diffusion, and Impact. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 105, No. 33 (Aug. 19, 2008), pp. 11597- 11604.


Acknowledgment of the Syllabus Terms ANTH 204 Section 01

I have read the course syllabus and understand what my obligations are. If I fail to turn in all of the assignments or miss a test it is my responsibility to contact the professor prior to the end of the semester and make arrangements to satisfy the requirements of the course.

If the professor notifies me before final grades are submitted stating that some materials are missing I will respond, even if I know I sent everything in. If the professor asks me to resend materials I will do so within the allotted time, even if I have already done so.

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