Publications

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2016
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.

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.