David Harvey


Academic Interests: Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology; Behavioral Ecology; Settlement Patterns; Geographic Information Systems; Stone Tools, Toolstone Sourcing, & Toolstone Conveyance; Sierra Nevada; Rocky Mountains  

Status: PhD Candidate

Previous degree: MA Anthropology (2012) University of Memphis. Thesis Title: "A Cost Surface Analysis of Obsidian Use in the Wyoming Basin, USA"

Research Description: Dave's research focuses on the archaeology of the Kern River watershed in California's southern Sierra Nevada mountains.  His project investigates how the Tubatulabal, a low population density hunter-gatherer group (17 persons/100 km2), established a territory in one of the most diverse and productive environments in California and how they managed to maintain that territory in the face of dramatic demographic shifts by higher-population density adjoining groups (e.g., the Owens Valley Paiute and Foothill Yokuts at 38 persons/100 km2 and the Western Mono at 28 persons/100 km2) through at least the last three millennia of the late Holocene. It does so by reconstructing Tubatulabal settlement behaviors relative to expectations derived from the ideal free and ideal despotic distribution (IFD and IDD, respectively) models, which make predictions as to optimal habitat choice by populations under free and territorial (i.e., despotic) conditions. The idea here is fundamentally evolutionary in that territorial emplacement is hypothesized to conform to the IFD: the best way to establish a territory is to settle in the most suitable habitats that afford the highest energetic returns on labor. Maintaining that territory, especially in light of competition from higher-population density groups, may require occupation of less suitable habitats as means of controlling access to resources or the territory as a whole.

Contact Information: dharvey@unr.edu

David is a part of the Human Paleoecology and Archaeometry Laboratory at UNR.