• Spatial Dynamics of the Earliest Human Occupants of Tibet

      Clair, Erin Joy (The University of Arizona., 2012-05)
      My research, conducted summer 2011, was undertaken to obtain a better understanding of how, when, and why prehistoric peoples initially extended their range up from the lower elevation valleys of northern India and Tibet to the 4,000 – plus - meter elevations of the Tibet Plateau. Recent archaeological research headed by Professor John W. Olsen in western Tibet suggests multiple routes onto the Plateau at different times in prehistory. My research focused on: 1) conducting reconnaissance for ancient sources of raw stone material and 2) examining ancient river terrace and lake shoreline formations to determine the timing and directionality of human movement onto the plateau. We identified new sites to help reconstruct prehistoric land - use patterns in one segment of the Yarlung Zangbo as a hypothetical model for understanding population dynamics on a larger geographical scale. Global positioning systems (GPS) data allowed me to generate hypotheses of prehistoric land - use in south - central Tibet that can be tested in future field seasons against archaeological and spatial data collected over a larger region. This thesis aims to examine data collected during summer field seasons with well - documented geographic locations of sites, archaeological evidence, and research to understand migration onto the Tibet Plateau.