Publications

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2017
D'alpoim Guedes, J.  2017.  Did foragers adopt farming? A perspective from the margins of the Tibetan Plateau Quaternary International.   10.1016/j.quaint.2016.12.010   AbstractWebsite

Farmer's ability to rapidly grow their populations has been seen as an advantage in allowing them to either engulf or simply do away with foragers. Research on agriculture's spread in East Asia has followed an underlying assumption: that farming produced equally reliable returns across the vast expanse of territories into which it spread. Farmers are thus always seen as being at a demographic advantage. However, in some parts of Asia, ecological barriers to growing crops may have meant that the opposite was true. In order to illuminate how foragers and farmers might have interacted in environments marginal to crop cultivation, I argue that we first need to outline where the barriers to farmer expansion in prehistory lay. Using ecological niche modeling combined with an analysis of recent archaeological data, this paper contrasts forager farmer interaction in two different areas of the Tibetan Plateau. It argues that the higher elevation reaches of the “third pole” constituted a barrier for early millet farmers expanding into the region. In these areas foragers may have maintained a competitive advantage.

2016
d’Alpoim Guedes, JA, Crabtree SA, Bocinsky KR, Kohler TA.  2016.  Twenty-first century approaches to ancient problems: Climate and society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113:14483-14491.   10.1073/pnas.1616188113   AbstractWebsite

By documenting how humans adapted to changes in their environment that are often much greater than those experienced in the instrumental record, archaeology provides our only deep-time laboratory for highlighting the circumstances under which humans managed or failed to find to adaptive solutions to changing climate, not just over a few generations but over the longue durée. Patterning between climate-mediated environmental change and change in human societies has, however, been murky because of low spatial and temporal resolution in available datasets, and because of failure to model the effects of climate change on local resources important to human societies. In this paper we review recent advances in computational modeling that, in conjunction with improving data, address these limitations. These advances include network analysis, niche and species distribution modeling, and agent-based modeling. These studies demonstrate the utility of deep-time modeling for calibrating our understanding of how climate is influencing societies today and may in the future.

Habiyaremye, C, Matanguihan JB, d’Alpoim Guedes J, Ganjyal GM, Whiteman MR, Kidwell KK, Murphy KM.  2016.  Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) and its potential for cultivation in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.: A review. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7:1961.: Frontiers Media S.A.   10.3389/fpls.2016.01961   AbstractWebsite

Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a warm season grass with a growing season of 60–100 days. It is a highly nutritious cereal grain used for human consumption, bird seed, and/or ethanol production. Unique characteristics, such as drought and heat tolerance, make proso millet a promising alternative cash crop for the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the United States. Development of proso millet varieties adapted to dryland farming regions of the PNW could give growers a much-needed option for diversifying their predominantly wheat-based cropping systems. In this review, the agronomic characteristics of proso millet are discussed, with emphasis on growth habits and environmental requirements, place in prevailing crop rotations in the PNW, and nutritional and health benefits. The genetics of proso millet and the genomic resources available for breeding adapted varieties are also discussed. Last, challenges and opportunities of proso millet cultivation in the PNW are explored, including the potential for entering novel and regional markets.

d’Alpoim Guedes, J, Manning SW, Bocinsky KR.  2016.  A 5,500-year model of changing crop niches on the Tibetan Plateau. Current Anthropology. 57:517-522.   10.1086/687255   AbstractWebsite

The timing and mechanics of the spread of agriculture to the Tibetan Plateau—one of the most challenging environmental contexts on earth—is a focus of recent work and debate. Understanding the timing and spread of agriculture is basic to archaeology and history worldwide. Researchers seek evidence for the earliest, furthest, or highest occurrences of diagnostic elements. However, the Tibetan Plateau case illustrates a key flaw in current work: archaeologists have often uncritically interpreted the presence of plant domesticates at archaeological sites as being indicative of local agricultural practice. This assumption neglects the long history of food exchange on the Plateau, as elsewhere in the world, even beyond what were then the limits of agriculture. The cause is a fundamental lack of understanding of where crops could be grown in prehistory. Using a formal model of the agricultural thermal niche between the 5500 BP and the present, we argue that agricultural niches on the Tibetan Plateau were tightly constrained to lower-elevation river valleys throughout time. This pattern is confirmed by analysis of the extent of modern crop production on the Plateau. The challenges deriving from these altitudinal constraints placed on early Tibetans largely explain how and why the Tibetan economy developed in the way that it did.

D'alpoim Guedes, J, Austermann J, Mitrovica JX.  2016.  Lost foraging opportunities for East Asian hunter-gatherers due to rising sea level since the last glacial maximum. Geoarchaeology. 31:255-266.   10.1002/gea.21542   AbstractWebsite

This paper explores how changes in sea level and biome distribution may have affected the habitats occupied by hunter-gatherers in East Asia. Using a model-based reconstruction of changing sea level from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to present day, our analysis reveals that the exposure of a large continental shelf during the LGM sea level lowstand created a wealth of wooded, estuarine, and coastal biomes that could have been exploited intensively by Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers. Models explaining hunter-gatherer subsistence changes and migrations in this period should take into account the large area that has been lost to rising sea level since the LGM.

D'alpoim Guedes, J.  2016.  Model building, model testing, and the spread of agriculture to the Tibetan Plateau. Archaeological Research in Asia. 5:16-23.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ara.2016.02.001   AbstractWebsite

Recent archeological evidence has revealed that a major transition in subsistence regimes took place around the second millennium BC. This paper argues that in order for archeologists to understand transitions in subsistence regimes in the past, it is necessary to develop models capable of outlining our frames of reference. It summarizes how ecological niche models (ENM) have contributed to our understanding of the spread of agriculture to the Plateau and situates ENM within the two current paradigms used for understanding subsistence change in archeological research (Optimal Foraging Theory and Niche Construction Theory) and argues that recent advances in computing and in spatial modeling should be employed by researchers seeking to make testable hypothesis about subsistence change on the Tibetan Plateau.

2015
d’Alpoim Guedes, JA, Lu H, Hein AM, Schmidt AH.  2015.  Early evidence for the use of wheat and barley as staple crops on the margins of the Tibetan Plateau. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112:5625-5630.   10.1073/pnas.1423708112   AbstractWebsite

We report directly dated evidence from circa 1400 calibrated years (cal) B.C. for the early use of wheat, barley, and flax as staple crops on the borders of the Tibetan Plateau. During recent years, an increasing amount of data from the Tibetan Plateau and its margins shows that a transition from millets to wheat and barley agriculture took place during the second millennium B.C. Using thermal niche modeling, we refute previous assertions that the ecological characteristics of wheat and barley delayed their spread into East Asia. Rather, we demonstrate that the ability of these crops to tolerate frost and their low growing degree-day requirements facilitated their spread into the high-altitude margins of western China. Following their introduction to this region, these crops rapidly replaced Chinese millets and became the staple crops that still characterize agriculture in this area today.

d’Alpoim Guedes, J, Jin G, Bocinsky KR.  2015.  The impact of climate on the spread of rice to North-Eastern China: A new look at the data from Shandong Province. PLOS ONE. 10:e0130430.: Public Library of Science   10.1371/journal.pone.0130430   AbstractWebsite

Moving crops outside of their original centers of domestication was sometimes a challenging process. Because of its substantial heat requirements, moving rice agriculture outside of its homelands of domestication was not an easy process for farmers in the past. Using crop niche models, we examine the constraints faced by ancient farmers and foragers as they moved rice to its most northerly extent in Ancient China: Shandong province. Contrary to previous arguments, we find that during the climatic optimum rice could have been grown in the region. Climatic cooling following this date had a clear impact on the distribution of rice, one that may have placed adaptive pressure on rice to develop a temperate phenotype. Following the development of this temperate phenotype, rice agriculture could once again become implanted in select areas of north-eastern China.

D'alpoim Guedes, J, Jiang M, He K, Wu X, Jiang Z.  2015.  Site of Baodun yields earliest evidence for the spread of rice and foxtail millet agriculture to south-west China. Antiquity. 87:758-771.: Cambridge University Press   10.1017/S0003598X00049449   AbstractWebsite

The Chengdu plain of south-west China lies outside the main centres of early domestication in the Huanghe and Yangzi valleys, but its importance in Chinese prehistory is demonstrated by the spectacular Sanxingdui bronzes of the second millennium BC and by the number of walled enclosures of the third millennium BC associated with the Baodun culture. The latter illustrate the development of social complexity. Paradoxically, however, these are not the outcome of a long settled agricultural history but appear to be associated with the movement of the first farming communities into this region. Recent excavations at the Baodun type site have recovered plant remains indicating not only the importance of rice cultivation, but also the role played by millet in the economy of these and other sites in south-west China. Rice cultivation in paddy fields was supplemented by millet cultivation in neighbouring uplands. Together they illustrate how farmers moving into this area from the Middle Yangzi adjusted their cultivation practices to adapt to their newly colonised territories.

2014
D'alpoim Guedes, J, Butler EE.  2014.  Modeling constraints on the spread of agriculture to Southwest China with thermal niche models. Quaternary International. 349:29-41.   10.1016/j.quaint.2014.08.003   AbstractWebsite

Understanding how, why and by what mechanisms agricultural practices, technologies and products spread out of their zones of original development is a central theme of archaeology. To date, very few studies have combined agro-ecological modeling with detailed analyses of archaeobotanical remains to outline the kinds of challenges that ancient humans faced as they moved crops into environments different from their original homeland of domestication. This paper employs ecological niche modeling to outline the constraints faced by ancient humans as they moved rice, millets and eventually wheat and barley into the mountainous region of Southwest China. In particular, we propose that moving rice into this region presented considerable challenges for its cultivators and we infer that its spread into this area was facilitated by breeding cold adapted varieties of rice or by combining its cultivation with that of millet. High altitude areas did not take up full-scale agriculture until the introduction of cold adapted western Eurasian domesticates such as wheat and barley. The temperature niche models reinforce the adoption of these regionally varied agricultural strategies and support the significance of domesticates other than rice for the spread of agriculture into Southwest China.

Warriner, C, D'alpoim Guedes J.  2014.  Digitizing the Archaeobotanical Record. Method and theory in paleoethnobotany. ( Marston JM, D'alpoim Guedes J, Warriner C, Eds.).:xxi,548pages.: University Press of Colorado, Boulder Abstract
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Marston, JM, D'alpoim Guedes J, Warriner C.  2014.  Method and theory in paleoethnobotany. :xxi,548pages.: University Press of Colorado, Boulder Abstract
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d’Alpoim Guedes, J, Lu H, Li Y, Spengler RN, Wu X, Aldenderfer MS.  2014.  Moving agriculture onto the Tibetan plateau: the archaeobotanical evidence. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 6:255-269.   10.1007/s12520-013-0153-4   AbstractWebsite

The Tibetan Plateau has one of the least hospitable environments for agriculture on the planet; however, its inhabitants have developed an economic system based on agriculture and pastoralism suited to it’s geoenvironmental stressors. Little is known about the timing of the spread of agriculture onto the plateau or how agricultural systems were adapted to this environment. In this article, we present palaeoethnobotanical data from two sites, Changdu Karuo (c. 2700–2300 cal B.C.) and Kyung-lung Mesa (A.D. 220–334 and A.D. 694–880). In addition, we synthesize previously reported data (much of which has never been published in peer-reviewed journals). We argue that the earliest agriculture was based on millets (broomcorn and foxtail) and was accompanied by a pig-based economic system. This early economy, which likely originated in western China, was later replaced by a better adapted system, similar to those identified in Central Asia. The later system was based on crops such as wheat, barley, peas, and millets, as well as sheep and goat pastoralism. Wild resources obtained through hunting, fishing, and foraging appear to have been complements to the diet on the Tibetan Plateau.

Marston, JM, D'alpoim Guedes J, Warriner C.  2014.  Paleoethnobotanical Method and Theory in the 21st Century. Method and theory in paleoethnobotany. ( Marston JM, D'alpoim Guedes J, Warriner C, Eds.).:xxi,548pages.: University Press of Colorado, Boulder Abstract
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D'alpoim Guedes, J, Spengler R.  2014.  Sampling Strategies in Paleoethnobotany . Method and theory in paleoethnobotany. ( Marston JM, D'alpoim Guedes J, Warriner C, Eds.).:xxi,548pages.: University Press of Colorado, Boulder Abstract
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2011
d’Alpoim Guedes, J.  2011.  Millets, Rice, Social Complexity, and the Spread of Agriculture to the Chengdu Plain and Southwest China. Rice. 4:104-113.   10.1007/s12284-011-9071-1   AbstractWebsite

Southwest China played a pivotal role in the spread of agriculture across East and Southeast Asia. Both rice and millet were important in the spread of populations and the expansion of agriculture into this region. Recent finds in the mountainous peripheries of Sichuan Province show that the earliest inhabitants of this region practiced a combination of broomcorn and foxtail millet agriculture (ca 4000–2500 BC). These crops are adapted to high altitude and arid environments, which facilitated their movement across this region and eventually into the Tibetan Plateau. At around 2700 BC, a combined system of rice and foxtail millet agriculture appears suddenly in sites of the Baodun culture on the Chengdu Plain. The use of this double cropping system provided advantages to the inhabitants of this region in both risk reduction and yield. I argue that this had important consequences for spurring population growth, facilitating expansion into new territories and the development of social complexity.

Warinner, C, d’Alpoim Guedes J, Goode D.  2011.  Paleobot.org: establishing open-access online reference collections for archaeobotanical research. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 20:241-244.   10.1007/s00334-011-0282-6   AbstractWebsite

Difficulty in accessing high quality reference materials has been a limiting factor in the advancement of archaeobotanical research. However, new developments in online open source content management technology and faster downloading capabilities make high quality and low cost dynamic online curation of archaeobotanical reference images increasingly feasible. We describe the establishment of Paleobot.org, an open access online reference collection database for macrobotanical, microbotanical and isotopic data to help standardize and improve the identification of archaeobotanical remains.

2010
D'alpoim Guedes, J.  2010.  Bioarchaeology at Shifodong . Gengma Shifodong. ( of of Yunnan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology C, Ed.).:pp.351-353., Beijing: Wenwu Chunbanshe Abstract
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D'alpoim Guedes, J.  2010.  Starch Grain Analysis and Dental Calculus: New Insights from the Site of Xipo, Henan Province. <b>Lingbo Xipo Mudi </b>. ( of and of and People’s Republic of China in Institute of Archaeology C, Ed.).:pp.209-222., Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe Abstract
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D'alpoim Guedes, J.  2010.  Starch Grain Analysis of Pottery Residue at the site of Shifodong. Gengma Shifodong. ( of of Yunnan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology C, Ed.).:pp.383-391., Beijing: Wenwu Chunbanshe Abstract
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2009
D'alpoim Guedes, J, Fu C, Zhang Q.  2009.  Bioarchaeology at Jinsha: Preliminary Results from the Site of Huangzhongxiaoqu. Chengdu Kaogu Faxian 2006. :409-423. Abstract
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