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Human Riverine and Lacustrine Adaptations Study

Understanding how natural environmental systems have changed through time and how human systems adapt to those changes, either by changing lifestyles or by changing the environment itself (intentional or inadvertent) is becoming increasingly important in the 21st Century. The multi-year Human Riverine and Lacustrine Adaptations Study explores specific human adaptations to relatively resource-rich aquatic environments in the eastern Snake River Plain high desert. Of particular interest is understanding if, and how land and resource-use may have changed through time in response to changing environmental conditions. Previous research has shown statistically significant changes in archaeological site distribution from the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene. Multiple, likely interrelated explanations for these changes exist but certainly Holocene warming trends and declining effective atmospheric moisture affected diet breadth, land use decisions and mobility patterns. Research goals include efforts to determine if additional patterned changes can be discerned from the archaeological record throughout the Holocene and reciprocally, to explore the extent to which archaeological site distribution data can help us understand changing paleo-environments.

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Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office