Scott M. Fitzpatrick

Scott M. Fitzpatrick
University of Oregon | UO · Department of Anthropology

PhD Anthropology

About

188
Publications
103,320
Reads
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Introduction
I am an archaeologist who specializes in island and coastal archaeology, particularly in the Pacific and Caribbean. Much of my research focuses on the investigation of colonization events, subsequent adaptive strategies on smaller islands, exchange systems, and historical ecology. I have active research projects in western Micronesia (Palau, Yap), several islands in the Caribbean (Barbados, Grenadines, Curacao, Nevis) as well as the Florida Keys and Oregon Coast. I am also the founding Co-Editor of the "Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology".
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - present
University of Oregon
Position
  • Associate Professor of Archaeology
July 2012 - September 2016
University of Oregon
Position
  • Full Professor of Archaeology
July 2003 - June 2012
North Carolina State University
Position
  • Associate Professor of Archaeology
Education
September 1996 - June 2003
University of Oregon
Field of study
  • Historic Preservation
September 1996 - June 2003
University of Oregon
Field of study
  • Anthropology
August 1994 - May 1996
University of Montana
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (188)
Article
Full-text available
Once considered a backwater of New World prehistory, the Caribbean has now emerged from the archaeological shadows as a critical region for answering a host of questions related to human population dispersal, Neotropical island adaptations, maritime subsistence, seafaring, island interaction networks, and the rise of social complexity, among many o...
Article
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Environmentally transformative human use of land accelerated with the emergence of agriculture, but the extent, trajectory, and implications of these early changes are not well understood. An empirical global assessment of land use from 10,000 years before the present (yr B.P.) to 1850 CE reveals a planet largely transformed by hunter-gatherers, fa...
Article
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Human settlement of the Caribbean represents the only example in the Americas of peoples colonizing islands that were not visible from surrounding mainland areas or other islands. Unfortunately, many interpretive models have relied on radiocarbon determinations that do not meet standard criteria for reporting because they lack critical information...
Article
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The arrival of modern humans into previously unoccupied island ecosystems is closely linked to widespread extinction, and a key reason cited for Pleistocene megafauna extinction is anthropogenic overhunting. A common assumption based on late Holocene records is that humans always negatively impact insular biotas, which requires an extrapolation of...
Article
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Islands are useful model systems for examining human-environmental interactions. While many anthropo-genic effects visible in the archaeological and paleoecological records are terrestrial in nature (e.g., clearance of tropical forests for agriculture and settlement; introduction of nonnative flora and fauna), native peoples also relied heavily on...
Article
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For centuries, glass money beads (udoud) have played a critical role in cultural and economic exchanges in the Palauan archipelago (western Micronesia) since their first appearance ca. AD 600-950 from East Java and mainland Southeast Asia. Later, as part of their stone money (rai) quarrying activities, visiting Yapese islanders negotiated access to...
Article
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Humans and the diverse ecosystems we inhabit face numerous sustainability challenges due to climate change, rising seas, population growth, overfishing, natural habitat destruction, accelerating extinctions, and more. As an interdisciplinary paradigm that leverages both natural and social sciences to better understand linkages between humans and th...
Article
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The Florida Keys are currently experiencing unprecedented loss of lifeways, biodiversity, and cultural heritage due to sea-level rise, catastrophic storm events, unsustainable traditions of resource exploitation, and land development. Yet, these islands have a long history of human occupation and socioecological systems underlying their current sus...
Article
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Scientists recognize the Caribbean archipelago as a biodiversity hotspot and employ it for their research as a “natural laboratory”. Yet, they do not always appreciate that these ecosystems are in fact palimpsests shaped by multiple human cultures over millennia. Although post-European anthropogenic impacts are well documented, human influx into th...
Article
Objective: To document and differentially diagnose facial pathology found in an isolated skull from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, southeastern Caribbean. To directly date this individual using radiocarbon dating. Materials: Isolated skull recovered from Petite Mustique Island. Methods: Describe facial pathology occurring in this individual and...
Article
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Archaeological investigation at the Walkers sand quarry in St. Andrews, Barbados, revealed Late Ceramic A (AD 700-1000) ceramics interspersed with historic pottery, ground shell implements, faunal remains, and a historical human burial with grave goods. Observable stratigraphy was generally lacking in the investigated area with mixing of Indigenous...
Article
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The majority of archaeological sites in the Caribbean are under threat from various natural and cultural processes. This is particularly true for the smaller and more vulnerable islands in the Lesser Antilles. Here we report on the 2001 rescue recovery of human skeletal remains that were observed to be actively eroding into the sea at Boiling Rock,...
Article
The abundance of marine mollusks found in Pre-Columbian archaeological sites in the Caribbean has made them enticing sample types for radiocarbon dating. Unfortunately, a paucity of local marine reservoir corrections (ΔR) for most of the region limits building chronologies using marine-based carbonates. Here we present a suite of 33 new ΔR values f...
Article
Prehistoric Indigenous groups in the Eastern Caribbean often used local materials in the manufacturing of ceramics and frequently transported raw materials and/or finished pottery as they traveled between the islands. Given the ubiquity and diversity of ceramics in the Caribbean they are particularly amenable for helping to discern past movements,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Western Micronesia encompasses several major archipelagos and islands, including the Marianas, Yap, and Palau. Language and human biology suggest Western Micronesia was most likely colonized from Island Southeast Asia in a complex process, possibly involving multiple population movements from different areas during prehistory. A key archaeological...
Chapter
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Between c. AD 1400–1900, Yapese islanders in western Micronesia travelled to the Palauan archipelago to carve large circular or ovoid-shaped disks. Often referred to as ‘stone money’, they were made from a speleothem flowstone variety of limestone that formed by calcite precipitation along cave walls. These disks were an engineering marvel, and the...
Article
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Guinea pigs (Cavia spp.) have a long association with humans. From as early as 10,000 years ago they were a wild food source. Later, domesticated Cavia porcellus were dispersed well beyond their native range through pre-Columbian exchange networks and, more recently, widely across the globe. Here we present 46 complete mitogenomes of archaeological...
Article
Objective: To explore the frequency and severity of temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) and its causative factors in a skeletal assemblage from the prehistoric site of Chelechol ra Orrak, Palau, western Micronesia. Materials: 50 temporomandibular joint surfaces (mandibular condyles and articular eminences), representing a minimum of...
Chapter
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In the early 1990s, Peter Drewett began investigating the pre-colonial site of Heywoods, situated along the northwestern coast of Barbados. Initial survey and excavation identified this site as one of the largest on the island, with later development of the area as part of the Port St. Charles marina, leading to a series of salvage excavations over...
Chapter
The Florida Keys are a small island chain along the Atlantic coast that preserve unique data on human-environmental interactions in prehistory, overlooked in earlier research but now the focus of new investigations. These investigations were spurred in part by the threat of sea level rise and the need to better understand human adaptations to chang...
Article
Full-text available
Centuries ago in western Micronesia, Yapese islanders sailed to the Palauan archipelago 250 miles away to carve their famous stone money disks (rai) from limestone and then transported them back for use as exchange valuables in various social transactions. While rai were not strictly currency, their value is similar to other traditional and modern...
Chapter
The California Islands provide a case study that suggests that historical depictions of many islands as marginal environments for hunter-gatherers have been exaggerated by the ecological effects of the introduction of exotic plants and animals, historically or prehistorically. The perception of island marginality is traditionally based on variables...
Article
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Documentation exists for very widespread traditional human consumption of psychoactive drug materials over thousands of years. However, the worldwide chronology, biological diversity, and geographical range of human use of mind‐altering drug substances are neither complete nor unchangeable. Numerous psychoactive species of plants and fungi, and the...
Article
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The use of islands as ‘model systems’ has become particularly relevant for examining a host of important issues in archaeology and other disciplines. As papers in this special issue of the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology demonstrate, islands can serve as critical and ideal analytical platforms for observing human populations in the past a...
Chapter
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Mind-altering substances have been used by humans for thousands of years. In fact, ancient societies sometimes encouraged the consumption of drugs. Focusing on the archaeological study of how various entheogens have been used in the past, this volume examines why humans have social and psychological needs for these substances. Contributors trace th...
Article
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Research at the Chelechol ra Orrak rockshelter in Palau has revealed an extensive cemetery with at least 50 interred individuals, their graves overlain by later occupational deposits. Previous radiocarbon dating placed this sequence of burial and occupation at c. 3000 cal BP, making it one of the earliest Pacific Island cemetery sites. To provide a...
Article
In this study, we conducted the first petrographic analysis of pottery from several Pre-Columbian archaeological sites located in Bocas del Toro province along the Caribbean coast of Panama. The fifty-four sherds examined in this study included surface finds collected from the sites of Red Frog (RF) and Punta Vieja Arriba (PVA) on Bastimentos Islan...
Article
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Recent archaeological fieldwork on the island of Simbo in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands has identified several new prehistoric sites. Here, we present the results of our research along with the first radiocarbon dates from Simbo. These dates and associated ceramic sherds provide a chronological and stylistic link to other islands with...
Article
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Recent excavation at Ucheliungs Cave in Palau has provided new evidence in the debate concerning the colonisation of the Palauan archipelago. An abundance of faunal material and the presence of transported artefacts contradict a previous interpretation that the site represents an early burial cave containing purported small-bodied humans. New radio...
Article
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In Palau, Micronesia, marine resources, particularly shellfish, played a vital role in human subsistence for millennia. Despite the vast array of molluscan species in archaeological assemblages, there is a dearth of data on nearshore palaeoecology or prehistoric shellfish foraging practices. In this study, we analysed stable oxygen isotopes (δ¹⁸O)...
Book
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Review: For more than a century, archaeologists and anthropologists have searched for evidence of when and how peoples first settled the Caribbean islands. Research on this area is pivotal for understanding the migration of peoples in the New World and how small and large populations develop biologically and culturally through time. This unique co...
Article
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In a controversial study published in Nature, Holen et al. (2017) claim that hominins fractured mastodon bones and teeth with stone cobbles in California ∼130,000 years ago. Their claim implies a human colonization of the New World more than 110,000 years earlier than the oldest widely accepted archaeological sites in the Americas. It is also at od...
Article
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In the face of environmental uncertainty due to anthropogenic climate change, islands are at the front lines of global change, threatened by sea level rise, habitat alteration, extinctions and declining biodiversity. Islands also stand at the forefront of scientific study for understanding the deep history of human ecodynamics and to build sustainab...
Article
Full-text available
In the face of environmental uncertainty due to anthropogenic climate change, islands are at the front lines of global change, threatened by sea level rise, habitat alteration, extinctions and declining biodiversity. Islands also stand at the forefront of scientific study for understanding the deep history of human ecodynamics and to build sustaina...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeologists routinely reconstruct the types of marine environments fished by past human societies in order to understand economic systems, foraging behaviour, maritime technology and seafaring abilities. These reconstructions are based on ecological data provided by archaeofish identifications, but can be problematic where coarse-grained designa...
Article
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The prehistoric colonization of islands in Remote Oceania that began ∼3400 B.P. represents what was arguably the most expansive and ambitious maritime dispersal of humans across any of the world's seas or oceans. Though archaeological evidence has provided a relatively clear picture of when many of the major island groups were colonized, there is s...
Article
Full-text available
Across the world’s seas and oceans, archaeological research focused on islands has generally privileged those that are larger in size. Explanations for this phenomenon range from the (mis)perception by scholars that prehistoric peoples were more attracted to the presumed greater number and diversity of resources typically available on larger island...
Article
Full-text available
Across the world’s seas and oceans, archaeological research focused on islands has generally privileged those that are larger in size. Explanations for this phenomenon range from the (mis)perception by scholars that prehistoric peoples were more attracted to the presumed greater number and diversity of resources typically available on larger island...
Poster
Full-text available
Abstract: The Chelechol ra Orrak site is one of the largest and oldest cemetery sites in the Pacific Islands. Dating back to at least 2800 BP, the site contains the remains of descendant Palauan populations that may represent individuals who lived within 20-25 generations of the archipelago’s first colonists dating back to between ca. 3300-3000 BP....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The bioarchaeological record of the southern Caribbean reflects a diverse population history due to the eventual replacement of founding indigenous groups by European and African populations as a result of colonial incursion and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This complex history can present problems for proper dispensation of human skeletal remain...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In Palau, Micronesia, marine resources such as shellfish, played a vital role in human subsistence for millennia. At the Chelechol ra Orrak site (Fig. 1), nearly 100 shellfish species have been identified in archaeological assemblages, but there is a dearth of data on nearshore paleoecology or prehistoric shellfish foraging practices. To address th...