Carl Philipp Lipo

Carl Philipp Lipo
Binghamton University | SUNY Binghamton · Department of Anthropology

Professor

About

168
Publications
67,324
Reads
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3,622
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - present
Binghamton University
Position
  • Professor and Director of Environmental Studies
August 2002 - June 2016
California State University, Long Beach
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 1993 - June 1999
University of Washington Seattle
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 1992 - June 2000
University of Washington Seattle
Field of study
  • Anthropology
August 1987 - June 1989
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Field of study
  • Anthropology
August 1983 - June 1987
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (168)
Article
Full-text available
Cultural transmission models are coming to the fore in explaining increases in the Paleolithic toolkit richness and diversity. Analyses suggest that diversity increased due to relaxation of conformism, due to the effects of demographic expansion on cultural diversity, and the effects of extinction and recolonization in metapopulations. During the P...
Chapter
Tracking long term-trends in human behavior, particularly material culture, has long been recognized as a strength of archaeological studies. In the 1800s and a good portion of the 1900s, a major focus of archaeological studies centered on tracing large-scale changes in material culture over large geographic regions. The focus was generally on phen...
Article
Full-text available
The history of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) has long been framed as a parable for how societies can fail catastrophically due to the selfish actions of individuals and a failure to wisely manage common-pool resources. While originating in the interpretations made by 18th-century visitors to the island, 20th-century scholars recast this narrative as a "...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Among archaeologists using remote sensing there is tremendous potential for the use of deep learning models for the prospection of archaeological features. The need for relatively large training datasets, technical expertise, and computational requirements, however, has slowed the adoption of these techniques. Here, we train a series of deep earnin...
Article
Full-text available
In the mid-Holocene (5000-3000 cal B.P.), Native American groups constructed shell rings, a type of circular midden, in coastal areas of the American Southeast. These deposits provide important insights into Native American socioeconomic organization but are also quite rare: only about 50 such rings have been documented to date. Recent work using a...
Article
Full-text available
Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is an important component of many coastal environments and hydrologic processes, providing sources of nutrients to marine ecosystems, and potentially, an important source of fresh water for human populations. Here, we use a combination of unpiloted aerial systems (UAS) thermal infrared (TIR) imaging and salinit...
Article
Full-text available
Examining how past human populations responded to environmental and climatic changes is a central focus of the historical sciences. The use of summed probability distributions (SPD) of radiocarbon dates as a proxy for estimating relative population sizes provides a widely applicable method in this research area. Paleodemographic reconstructions and...
Article
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Understanding how and why cultural diversity changes in human populations remains a central topic of debate in cultural evolutionary studies. Due to the effects of drift, small and isolated populations face evolutionary challenges in the retention of richness and diversity of cultural information. Such variation, however, can have significant fitne...
Article
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We explore how the combination of cultural heritage and present-day cultural affiliations influences the construction of the concept of sustainability at the scale of the community using the case study of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile). We argue that overlapping affiliations—expressed through administrative culture, organizational culture, and pro...
Article
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In a recent paper published in The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, John Terrell (2020) objected to the proposition that islands can offer model systems to study human behavior and ecodynamics. He argues that a review of insular model systems in the study of non-human taxa is empirically flawed and theoretically incoherent and implies tha...
Article
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Warfare is widely accepted as a transformative factor in human history. However, as warfare is not inevitable in human groups, archaeologists must critically assess the empirical evidence for war and its importance in the past. Here, we reevaluate the culture history of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), often interpreted as a case of warfare resulting in s...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeologists have struggled to combine remotely sensed datasets with preexisting information for landscape-level analyses. In the American Southeast, for example, analyses of lidar data using automated feature extraction algorithms have led to the identification of over 40 potential new pre-European-contact Native American shell ring deposits in...
Article
Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) presents a quintessential case where the tempo of investment in monumentality is central to debates regarding societal collapse, with the common narrative positing that statue platform (ahu) construction ceased sometime around AD 1600 following an ecological, cultural, and demographic catastrophe. This narrative rema...
Chapter
Full-text available
The effectiveness of governance depends on the knowledge upon which decisions are based. Knowledge veracity is particularly significant when future conditions are uncertain. In the context of global climate change, communities around the world, including the residents of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile), face tremendous uncertainty in resource avail...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable communities on Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) - whether in the past or present- require good governance of shared and common pool resources. Whether managing communal land needed for cultivation, ground water, stones for tools, fishing grounds, cultural heritage, or tourism, governance structures must balance individual interests with...
Preprint
Full-text available
A commentary on a response on a commentary on Puleston et. al (2017) Rain, Sun, Soil, and Sweat: A Consideration of Population Limits on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) before European Contact
Article
Full-text available
Sources of drinking water on islands often present critical constraints to human habitation. On Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile), there is remarkably little surface fresh water due to the nature of the island’s volcanic geology. While several lakes exist in volcanic craters, most rainwater quickly passes into the subsurface and emerges at coastal sp...
Poster
Full-text available
In 2018, we identified over 50 new potential shell rings in Beaufort County, SC using LiDAR and automated feature extraction algorithms. Further analysis of this data has confirmed the archaeological nature of several of these deposits. This poster details further analysis of these features. We find that the majority of these rings are significantl...
Article
Full-text available
In order to understand the impact of individual communities on global sustainability, we need a community sustainability assessment system (CSAS). While many sustainability assessment systems exist, they prove inadequate to the task. This article presents the results of a systematic review of the literature on existing sustainability assessment sys...
Article
Full-text available
Explaining the processes underlying the emergence of monument construction is a major theme in contemporary anthropological archaeology, and recent studies have employed spatially-explicit modeling to explain these patterns. Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) is famous for its elaborate ritual architecture, particularly numerous monumental platforms (...
Data
Rock mulch. Zip file containing Euclidean distance maps for the minimal, medial, and maximal rock mulch classifications. (ZIP)
Data
Freshwater sources. Zip file containing point shapefile of the locations of freshwater sources within the study area. (ZIP)
Data
Rmarkdown. Rmarkdown file necessary to create figures and execute all statistical analyses. (RMD)
Data
Ahu. Zip file containing point shapefile of image-ahu within the study area. (ZIP)
Data
PDF of Rmarkdown. PDF file showing the output of running the R code, including results not presented in the main text. (PDF)
Data
Survey area. Zip file containing polygon shapefile for our study area on the eastern portion of the island. (ZIP)
Data
Marine resource locations. Zip file containing polygon shapefiles for marine resource locations. (ZIP)
Data
Coastline. Zip file containing Euclidean distance map for distance from the coastline. (ZIP)
Data
Supplemental table for: 'Davis, Dylan S., Carl P. Lipo, and Matthew C. Sanger. 2019. “A Comparison of Automated Object Extraction Methods for Earthwork Feature Identification in South Carolina.” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.10.035.' Additional data available at https://orb.binghamton.edu/ant...
Article
Full-text available
One persistent archaeological challenge is the generation of systematic documentation for the extant archaeological record at the scale of landscapes. Often our information for landscapes is the result of haphazard and patchy surveys that stem from opportunistic and historic efforts. Consequently, overall knowledge of some regions is the product of...
Article
Full-text available
The population of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in pre-historic time is believed to have numbered in the thousands although typical perennial sources of drinking water (streams, springs) are nearly absent from the island. From the accounts of early European explorers, it is known that the people of Rapa Nui utilized brackish drinking water. Beyond this,...
Article
Full-text available
The study of pre-contact anthropogenic mounded features- earthen mounds, shell heaps, and shell rings - in the American Southeast is stymied by the spotty distribution of systematic surveys across the region. Many extant, yet unidentified, archaeological mound features continue to evade detection due to the heavily forested canopies that occupy lar...
Data
Supplemental Table for Davis et al. (2018) "Automated mound detection using LiDAR survey in Beaufort County, SC" Southeastern Archaeology, https://doi.org/10.1080/ 0734578X.2018.1482186.
Article
Full-text available
Fecal stanols deposited in sediment provide evidence of trace human waste products and have been proposed as a proxy for measuring population change. Despite its potential to contribute to paleodemographic studies, the method has not been evaluated against conventional archaeological population reconstructions to determine its fidelity in identifyi...
Article
The archaeological record of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) is noteworthy for its massive statues (moai) that were transported over long distances with relatively small numbers of people and minimal use of resources. Equally impressive are the colossal bodies of red scoria (pukao) placed on the heads of many of the moai. In this study, we use thre...
Article
Full-text available
Rapa Nui (Easter Island) has long-presented a challenge to researchers seeking to explain the nearly 1,000 multi-ton statues carved and more than 600 transported across this tiny, remote island where Europeans observed a population just a few thousand in number. The stark contrast between the island’s impressive monuments and its marginal resources...
Article
Full-text available
Structure from motion (SfM) mapping is a photogrammetric technique that offers a cost-effective means of creating three-dimensional (3-D) visual representations from overlapping digital photographs. The technique is now used more frequently to document the archaeological record. We demonstrate the utility of SfM by studying red scoria bodies known...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The Rapa Nui "ecocide" narrative questions whether the prehistoric population caused an avoidable ecological disaster through rapid deforestation and over-exploitation of natural resources. The objective of this study was to characterize prehistoric human diets to shed light on human adaptability and land use in an island environment w...
Poster
Full-text available
Costly signaling theory (CST) explains a variety of elaborate behavioral displays as a consequence of competition over resources when the risk of direct conflict is high. Within an archaeological context, monumental architecture is potentially explained as a facet of costly signaling between individuals and groups. On Rapa Nui, CST offers an explan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ahu and moai monuments of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are ceremonial features that served to functionally integrate the members of relatively small-scale communities distributed around the island 1,2. These monuments also potentially served as conspicuous and costly 'advertisements' of community competitive and cooperative potential 3,4. Described...
Poster
Full-text available
The use of multispectral imagery is particularly effective for mapping the archaeological record of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) due to the island’s lack of vegetation and exposed surface lithic features. In 2010, Flaws demonstrated that near-infrared (NIR) imagery can be used to identify “lithic mulch” gardens, areas of cultivation that are enhanced t...
Article
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The diverse island societies of East Polynesia are well-suited as models for comparative evolutionary analysis. Settled ca. 750 BP by a common ancestral population, colonists of the remote corners of the Pacific shared a pool of cultural traits that included commensal species, language, technology, and other cultural practices. Following colonizati...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we outline the last major human migrations with the discovery and settlement of the Pacific Islands. The last phase of this expansion resulted in colonization of the eastern Pacific with more than 500 remote islands ranging from tropical, subtropical, temperate, and sub-Antarctic, varying in size and landforms, and comprising just 2...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seriation is a long-standing archaeological method for relative dating that has proven effective in probing regional-scale patterns of inheritance, social networks , and cultural contact in their full spatiotemporal context. The orderings produced by seriation are produced by the continuity of class distributions and uni-modality of class frequenci...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
East Polynesian populations are closely related both culturally and genetically, yet their islands are environmentally diverse. The common ancestry and strong environmental differences make East Polynesia uniquely suited to the study of divergent sociocultural evolution. Following human colonization, populations diverged in subsistence practices, s...
Article
Traditional explanations of Rapa Nui history invoke environmental degradation and warfare to explain the ‘collapse’ of the island’s social and economic structure. One element in these reconstructions are the stemmed obsidian points known as mata’a, which some have envisaged as spearheads produced in the context of endemic warfare. Morphometric anal...
Conference Paper
Hydrogeologically, Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) is one of the least understood islands in Polysnesia. There are no surface streams, the soils are highly permeable, and the water table sits far below the surface of the island. One of the many mysteries of Rapa Nui is how the ancient inhabitants survived with so few sources of freshwater. Although...
Article
Full-text available
Tool design is a cultural trait—a term long used in anthropology as a unit of transmittable information that encodes particular behavioral characteristics of individuals or groups. After they are transmitted, cultural traits serve as units of replication in that they can be modified as part of a cultural repertoire through processes such as recombi...
Article
Full-text available
Frequency seriation played a key role in the formation of archaeology as a discipline due to its ability to generate chronologies. Interest in its utility for exploring issues of contemporary interest beyond chronology, however, has been limited. This limitation is partly due to a lack of quantitative algorithms that can be used to build determinis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Session: Open methods in archaeology: how to encourage reproducible research as the default practice