Publications

  • Andrew A White
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    ABSTRACT: An agent-based model (ABM) is used to explore how the ratio of old to young adults (the OY ratio) in a sample of dead individuals is related to aspects of mortality, fertility, and longevity experienced by the living population from which the sample was drawn. The ABM features representations of rules, behaviors, and constraints that affect person- and household-level decisions about marriage, reproduction, and infant mortality in hunter-gatherer systems. The demographic characteristics of the larger model system emerge through human-level interactions playing out in the context of "global" parameters that can be adjusted to produce a range of mortality and fertility conditions. Model data show a relationship between the OY ratios of living populations (the living OY ratio) and assemblages of dead individuals drawn from those populations (the dead OY ratio) that is consistent with that from empirically known ethnographic hunter-gatherer cases. The dead OY ratio is clearly related to the mean ages, mean adult mortality rates, and mean total fertility rates experienced by living populations in the model. Sample size exerts a strong effect on the accuracy with which the calculated dead OY ratio reflects the actual dead OY ratio of the complete assemblage. These results demonstrate that the dead OY ratio is a potentially useful metric for paleodemographic analysis of changes in mortality and mean age, and suggest that, in general, hunter-gatherer populations with higher mortality, higher fertility, and lower mean ages are characterized by lower dead OY ratios. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 02/2014; · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • Andrew Allen White
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    ABSTRACT: Data from samples of diagnostic lithic projectile points are used to describe changes in patterns of raw material transport associated with the Early Paleoindian (ca. 11,050-10,800 RCYBP), Late Paleoindian (ca. 10,300-10,000 RCYBP), and Early Archaic (ca. 10,000-8000 RCYBP) periods in the Midcontinent. Relative measures of the dispersion of raw materials indicate that the scales of transport decreased between the Early Paleondian and Late Paleoindian periods. During the Early Archaic, a modest increase in mean transport distance was accompanied by a relatively large increase in maximum transport distance, suggesting the addition or intensification of some mechanism for moving small numbers of projectile points very long distances. The identification and description of these patterns of change, largely consistent with data from several smaller-scale studies from across the Midcontinent, provide a beginning framework for understanding large-scale changes in raw material transport patterns in terms of the human behaviors that produced those patterns.
    Archaeology of Eastern North America. 01/2014; 42:51-75.
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    ABSTRACT: We question several common elements of conventional descriptions of Early Paleoindian adaptations. Specifically, we examine the presumed scales of residential mobility, the role of high-quality lithics in these movements, and the extent to which First Americans hunted large game as a fundamental part of their food-getting activities. We compare the Early Paleoindian data to relevant information on hunting, mobility, and weaponry documented ethnohistorically and ethnographically. We then construct an alternative explanation for the Early Paleoindian record based on the premise that the hunting of large mammals, presumably by men, may have been motivated more by social and political factors than by the need to regularly and reliably provision a family or band with food. By proposing a plausible alternative explanation for the available data, we suggest that there is good reason to think critically about several of the basic components of the conventional view of Early Paleoindian adaptations.
    Quaternary International 10/2013; 285. · 1.96 Impact Factor
  • Andrew A. White
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    ABSTRACT: A consideration of ethnographic data, computational model results, and archaeological data suggest that changes in family-level economics coincident with subsistence intensification contributed to the emergence of social complexity among prehistoric hunter–gatherers in eastern North America by creating the conditions for a “rich get richer” scenario. Ethnographic data are used to construct a general computational model representing key person- and family-level behaviors, constraints, and decisions affecting the size and composition of hunter–gatherer families. Results from model experiments suggest that lowering the age at which children make a significant contribution to subsistence (e.g., through the broadening of the diet to include the kinds of mass-harvested, “low quality” foods that were increasingly exploited during the Archaic and Woodland periods) relaxes constraints on family size and makes large, polygynous families economically viable. Positive feedbacks between the productive and reproductive potentials of larger families produce right-tailed distributions of family size and “wealth” when the productive age of children is low and polygyny is incentivized. Size data from over 800 prehistoric residential structures suggest right-tailed distributions of family size were present during the Late Archaic through Middle Woodland periods. These distributions would have provided variability in family-based status that permitted the emergence of hereditary social distinctions.
    Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 03/2013; 32(1):122–163. · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Andrew Allen White
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    ABSTRACT: Space plays an important role in the transfer of information in most societies that archaeologists study. Social networks that mediate learning and the transmission of cultural information are situated in spatial environments. This paper uses an abstract agent-based model to represent the transmission of the value of a single "stylistic" variable among groups linked together within a social network, the spatial structure of which is varied using a few simple parameters. The properties of the networks are shown to clearly affect both the overall amount of variability that is produced by the cultural transmission process and the spatial organization of that variability. The relationships between network structure, network properties, and assemblage variability in this simple model are patterned and predictable. This suggests that changes in the spatial structure of social networks may have important implications for interpreting patterns of artifact variability in large-scale archaeological assemblages.
    Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, The 01/2013; 16(3). · 1.16 Impact Factor
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    Andrew Allen White
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    ABSTRACT: Early projectile points from Midcontinental North America vary significantly in size and shape. Understanding the functional and stylistic aspects of this variability on a large spatial scale is a precursor to using this class of artifacts to evaluate and refine models of the social interaction of early hunter-gatherers in this region. Metric data from a sample (n = 1771) of Early Paleoindian (ca. 11,050-10,800 RCYBP), Late Paleoindian (ca. 10,300-10,000 RCYBP), and Early Archaic (ca. 10,000-8000 RCYBP) projectile points are analyzed to partition elements of functional and stylistic variability. Changes in the coefficient of variation of specific attributes are compared to expectations about how functional and stylistic variability should be manifest in these tools. Variability in hafting width and thickness appear to be constrained by functional considerations. The mixture of variables most closely related to hafting width shifts during the transition from lanceolate to notched points.
    North American Archaeologist 01/2013; 34(1):71-108.
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    Andrew Allen White
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    ABSTRACT: This dissertation integrates ethnographic information and computational modeling to build theory about hunter-gatherer social networks and the relationships between the characteristics of those networks and patterns of variability in material culture. Key mechanisms of personal network formation (mobility, marriage, and kinship) and social learning are represented in an agent-based model which allows both system-level social networks and large-scale patterns of artifact variability to emerge from the “bottom up” through numerous human-level behaviors and interactions. This model is used to: (1) identify patterned relationships between the human-level behaviors that we can observe ethnographically and the characteristics of the system-level social networks that emerge through those behaviors; and (2) explore how the characteristics of system-level social networks are related to the patterns of variability in items of material culture whose production is mediated through those networks. Comparisons between archaeological artifact assemblages and artifact assemblages produced during model experiments are used to evaluate network-based explanations for the appearance and disappearance of stylistic regions during the Paleoindian and Early Archaic periods (ca. 11,050-8000 radiocarbon years before present) in midcontinental North America. These comparisons suggest that the appearance of stylistic regions during the Middle and Late Paleoindian periods was most likely the result of processes of stylistic drift operating across social networks that were less inter-connected than those of the Early Paleoindian period. Decreasing social connectivity across the midcontinent was probably related to an uneven distribution of population as hunter-gatherer individuals, groups, and systems responded to environmental change at the end of the Pleistocene. Population growth and the emergence of relatively homogenous environments at the beginning of the Holocene (ca. 10,000 radiocarbon years before present) would have increased social connectivity and diminished the capacity of drift processes to produce stylistically differentiated regions.
    01/2012, Degree: PhD
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    Andrew A. White
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    ABSTRACT: Generalized processes of technological development have implications for understanding change in prehistoric technologies. Documented cases of development typically follow a pattern where a period of rapid performance increase is followed by a period of more gradual change. This pattern appears to be the result of basic evolutionary search processes. If key variables related to performance can be identified and quantified, patterned changes in the tempo of performance improvement may be discernible in archaeological cases through a consideration of the statistical properties of assemblages. Understanding the developmental component of change may be an important aspect of understanding material variability in the archaeological record. Theoretical, computational, historical and archaeological cases are briefly discussed.
    World Archaeology 12/2008; 40(4):597-608.
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    Andrew Allen White
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    ABSTRACT: Northeastern Indiana is situated at the interface of the Great Lakes, Ohio, and Upper Mississippi watersheds. Paleoindian hafted bifaces from northeastern Indiana include varieties with distributions centered in the Great Lakes, Southeast, and Plains. Paleoindian hafted biface chronology in this region must be viewed in light of both the regionalization of lithic technologies that characterizes the Middle Paleoindian period and the complex ecological changes that occurred as the environment shifted from a peri-glacial tundra/boreal parkland to one dominated by closed deciduous forest. A general sequence of Paleoindian pointforms is proposed. Gainey and Barnes/Cumberland points occur, suggesting affinities with the Great Lakes region during the early and middle portions of the Paleoindian period. During the Late Paleoindian period, Holcombe, Hi-Lo, and Agate Basin points occur. The varying regional affiliations of these point types suggest the regional-scale ranges ofhunter-gatherers may have shifted several times during the PleistoceneHolocene transition. Based on an analysis of metric data collected from hafted bifaces, population replacement, rather than in situ development from Holcombe, is suggested as a possible explanation for the appearance of Hi-Lo technologies in northern Indiana.
    Archaeology of Eastern North America. 01/2006; 34:29-59.
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    Andrew Allen White
    Current Research in the Pleistocne. 01/2006; 23:151-153.
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    Andrew Allen White
    The Michigan Archaeologist. 01/2004; 50-52(1-4):41-60.
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    Andrew Allen White
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    ABSTRACT: Temporal variation in the morphology and decoration of late Middle Archaic (ca. 6000-5000 B.P.) bone pins from the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio River valleys is explored. A preliminary chronology of pin morphology and decoration is proposed based on seriation, radiocarbon dates, stratigraphy, associations between engraved decoration and head morphology, and similarities in head shape and cross section. Square-top pins appear to be the earliest forms, occurring prior to 5500 B.P. Square-top pins are followed by fishtail/fishtail-cruciform, double-expanded, spade-top, blunt-top, T-top, and crutch-top pins. Pin cross section changes from flat and broad to narrow and oval during this succession of forms. Engraved decoration varies in frequency and form, with straight line decorations peaking in popularity earlier than concentric line designs.
    Midcontinental journal of archaeology, MCJA 01/2003; 28(1):49-72.
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    Andrew Allen White
    Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science. 01/2003; 112(2):117-131.
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    Andrew Allen White
    The Michigan Archaeologist. 01/2003; 49(3-4):43-71.
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    Andrew Allen White
    Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science. 01/2002; 111(2):107-116.

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