The Climatic Contexts of Trans-Himalayan Population Movements: 3000-1500 Years Ago

Climate Change in Central Asia Lecture by Mark Aldenderfer, UC Merced

Friday, October 28, 2016
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Fowler Museum A222
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
UCLA

From where and when did people first move into and live permanently the High Himalayas? What role did climate change have in the early peopling of the High Himalayas and in subsequent population movements? These questions are explored in three regions of Nepal: Upper Mustang, the Khumbu, and the Rasuwa valley. Archaeological, paleoclimatic, ethnographic, and historical data are combined to provide a comparative assessment of how the inhabitants of these regions coped with climate variability. Insights derived from this research have relevance to the challenges faced by these peoples today in a context of accelerated global warming.

Mark Aldenderfer is Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts at the University of California, Merced. His research focuses the comparative analysis of high altitude cultural and biological adaptations from an archaeological perspective. He has worked on the three high elevation plateaus of the planet—Ethiopian, Andean, and Tibetan—over the course of his career and currently works in the High Himalayas of Nepal. He has edited or written more than 10 books, including Montane Foragers (1998), and has published numerous articles and book chapters in journals including Science, PNAS, Journal of Archaeological Science, Latin American Antiquity, and others. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association. He is the editor of Current Anthropology, is an associate editor for anthropology of Science Advances, co-edited Latin American Antiquity, and serves on a number of editorial boards.


Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Anthropology, Geography, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology