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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Washington
  • Peter V Lape
  • (206) 685-9364
  • Joss R Whittaker
Award Date:11/28/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 25,005
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 25,005
  • FY 2018=$25,005
Start Date:12/01/2017
End Date:11/30/2019
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award: Examination of Factors Which Underlie Community Mobility
Federal Award ID Number:1748057
DUNS ID:605799469
Parent DUNS ID:042803536
Program:DDRI Archaeology
Program Officer:
  • John E. Yellen
  • (703) 292-8759

Awardee Location

Street:4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Balai Arkeologi Maluku
Street:Jl. Namalatu-Latuhalat, Nusaniwe

Abstract at Time of Award

Archaeologists at the University of Washington, Seattle, will collaborate with Indonesian colleagues to investigate why some residentially sedentary communities relocate over short distances. Some societies have developed and retained building styles that allow easy movement, although communities therein tend to remain in the same place for generations. The researchers will examine potential causes for infrequent, short-distance mobility including changing climate, conflict, changes in trade, ideological change, and epidemics, which may have influenced decisions to shift settlement locations within a small area. While it is well understood that humans often shift their settlements from place to place as part of a subsistence strategy, this research examines mobility as an adaptation to a range of factors not directly related to subsistence, which have affected humans throughout time, including in the present, and space, including in the Americas. While examining mobility's uses beyond subsistence, this research also asks whether otherwise sedentary societies have used lightweight, mobile building methods to adapt to a range of infrequent pressures. A clear understanding of these past adaptations may inform adaptive strategies in the present, whether in terms of house design, settlement planning, or civic organization. The research will involve consultation with members of the present community in which it takes place. The researchers will provide archaeological training to local students, and develop educational materials to distribute through regional schools and museums. The researchers will test ideas about the social effects of the changing climate, hypothesized as "climate refugees" or conflict over scarce resources. Likewise, they will investigate theories about how newly arrived ethnic groups integrate or do not integrate into an indigenous population. They will also test the hypothesis that societies may relocate to take advantage of new access to long-distance trade. Finally, they will test the historical hypothesis that colonial-period diseases spurred the abandonment of settlements. The researchers will use datable ceramics and radiocarbon dating to determine a chronology for the abandoned sites on the islands of Ujir and Wasir in the Aru archipelago, Eastern Indonesia. They will determine the sources of locally produced earthenwares through geochemical analysis, and of porcelain and stoneware from more distant regions through stylistic analysis. By tracking changes in the diversity of ceramic sources over time, the researchers will reconstruct a history of the sites' connections to local and long-distance trade networks. The site chronology and trade history will then be compared to historical records and oral traditions, as well as regional climate proxies. These methods will allow the researchers to infer whether one factor or multiple factors together caused the past communities on Ujir and Wasir to abandon their settlements, in a case study that can inform scholars and members of the public interested in mobility, conflict, climate change, cultural difference, and trade.

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