They used an X-ray gun ... and dates were calculated based on the characteristics of the radioactive isotope thorium-230 and its radioactive parent uranium-234. Science journalist Cheyenne MacDonald covered the research discovery of SMU archaeologist Mark D. McCoy. New dating on the stone buildings of the ancient monumental city of Nan Madol suggests the ancient [...]
"Nan Madol represents a first in Pacific Island history. The tomb of the first chiefs of Pohnpei is a century older than similar monumental burials of leaders on other islands." — Mark McCoy, SMU Science reporter Rob Verger covered the research discovery that new dating on the stone buildings of the ancient monumental city of [...]
Evidence of first chief indicates Pacific islanders invented a new society on city they built of coral and basalt
SMU archaeologist Mark McCoy's new analysis of the chief’s tomb of Nan Madol suggests the island’s monumental structures are the earliest evidence of a chiefdom in the Pacific — yielding new keys to how societies emerge and evolve
"Gender and Migration" is encyclopedic in nature and an essential resource for anyone interested in immigration, gender or both. — Nancy Foner, Hunter College Gender roles, relations, and ideologies are major aspects of migration. In a timely book on the subject, SMU anthropologist Caroline B. Brettell argues that understanding gender relations is vital to a [...]
The established theory of how Ice Age peoples first reached the present-day United States is now challenged by an unprecedented study that concludes that entry route was “biologically unviable.” The North American ice-free corridor, thought to have been used by the first colonizers, only became biologically viable 12,600 years ago — after they would have arrived. Researchers suggest a Pacific coast was the entry route.
Industrialized nations that view wildfire as the enemy have much to learn from people in some parts of the world who have learned to live compatibly with wildfire, says a team of fire research scientists. The interdisciplinary team say there is much to be learned from these “fire-adaptive communities” and they are calling on policy makers to tap that knowledge, particularly in the wake of global warming.
Long-term daily contact with Spanish missions triggered collapse of Native American populations in New Mexico
New research in the Southwest U.S. has resolved long-standing debates on the timing and magnitude of American Indian population collapse in the region. The severe and rapid collapse of Native American populations in what is now New Mexico didn’t happen upon first contact with Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. Nor was it as gradual as others had contended.
SMU scientists and their research have a global reach that is frequently noted, beyond peer publications and media mentions. It was a good year for SMU faculty and student research efforts. Here's a small sampling of public and published acknowledgements during 2015, ranging from research modeling that made the cover of a scientific journal to research findings presented as evidence at government hearings.
New York Times reporter James Gorman interviewed SMU's David Meltzer, a professor in the SMU Department of Anthropology, about a new large genome-scale study revealing ancestors of Native Americans arrived in the Americas in a single migration wave, no earlier than 23,000 years ago. The finding addresses the ongoing debate over when and how many times the ancestors of present-day Native Americans entered the New World from Siberia.