Weston C McCool

Weston C McCool
University of Utah | UOU · Department of Anthropology

PhD

About

12
Publications
2,161
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Introduction
My research utilizes models from human ecology to explain behavior in the past and present. I am currently working on projects that examine the dynamic relationships between climate change, population growth, inequality, and violent conflict. My regional foci are the Nasca Highlands of Peru and the Colorado Plateau. Additional specialties include bioarchaeology, isotope chemistry, geospatial modeling, and quantitative methods.
Education
September 2013 - June 2020

Publications

Publications (12)
Article
Objectives We leverage recent bioarchaeological approaches and life history theory to address the implications of the osteological paradox in a study population. The goal of this article is to evaluate morbidity and mortality patterns as well as variability in the risk of disease and death during the Late Intermediate period (LIP; 950–1450 C.E.) in...
Article
Full-text available
Explaining the factors that influence past dietary variation is critically important for understanding changes in subsistence, health, and status in past societies; yet systematic studies comparing possible driving factors remain scarce. Here we compile the largest dataset of past diet derived from stable isotope δ¹³C‰ and δ¹⁵N‰ values in the Ameri...
Article
Understanding the influence of climate change and population pressure on human con- flict remains a critically important topic in the social sciences. Long-term records that evaluate these dynamics across multiple centuries and outside the range of modern climatic variation are especially capable of elucidating the relative effect of—and the intera...
Article
Full-text available
Inter-personal violence (whether intra- or inter-group) is a pervasive yet highly variable human behavior. Evolutionary anthropologists suggest that the abundance and distribution of resources play an important role in influencing differences in rates of violence, with implications for how resource conditions structure adaptive payoffs. Here, we as...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of climate change on civil conflict and societal instability in the premodern world is a subject of much debate, in part because of the limited temporal or disciplinary scope of case studies. We present a transdisciplinary case study that combines archeological, historical, and paleoclimate datasets to explore the dynamic, shifting re...
Chapter
In 1869, the year John Wesley Powell first ran the Colorado River, justice was not an option for American Indians. It is difficult to imagine today the level of racism and hatred for Native peoples during that era. We should avoid applying today’s moral standards to people of another era, but we must never shirk from accurate description. With the...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This study uses osteological and radiocarbon datasets combined with formal quantitative analyses to test hypotheses concerning the character of conflict in the Nasca highlands during the Late Intermediate Period (LIP, 950–1450 C.E.). We develop and test osteological expectations regarding what patterns should be observed if violence was...
Article
Humans settled the Caribbean about 6,000 years ago, and ceramic use and intensified agriculture mark a shift from the Archaic to the Ceramic Age at around 2,500 years ago1,2,3. Here we report genome-wide data from 174 ancient individuals from The Bahamas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (collectively, Hispaniola), Puerto Rico, Curaçao and Venezuel...
Article
The consumption of alcohol in the past is a much-studied subject, largely because alcoholic beverages play an important role in numerous sociopolitical institutions. While alcoholic beverages have been widely acknowledged to be an important component of society, the ability to recognize alcohol intake in ancient contexts has proven difficult. As a...
Article
The territorialization of resources is a continual topic of interest for researchers investigating human social organization and resource competition. While scholars have proposed numerous archaeological markers of territoriality, these indicators are often established using qualitative observation and speculation rather than standardized methods a...
Article
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Warfare was a prevalent phenomenon throughout the Andes during the Late Intermediate period (LIP; AD 1000–1450). A salient research topic within broader investigations of conflict is how populations cope with chronic warfare. This article utilizes statistical and GIS-based analyses of architectural features and settlement patterns to reconstruct de...
Article
Full-text available
Recent literature on the role of alcohol in the ancient world has shown that the production and consumption of fermented beverages played a key role in the organization of many prehistoric political and household economies. The study of alcohol as a lubricant in social dynamics is especially salient in the Andes, where reciprocity is the primary fo...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
To investigate the socioecological conditions that promote intergroup conflict and territoriality.
Project
To investigate the developmental origins of health and disease & changes in fertility strategies and parental investment during periods of high adult mortality.
Project
To explain variability in Fremont storage strategies using risk-sensitive models from behavioral ecology. Our aim is to understand why there is so much variation in Fremont storage practices, with a specific emphasis on why some households elected to centralize their storage while others scattered their storage facilities in the surrounding landscape. This project will target the environmental conditions that influence economic risk-sensitivity, and the behavioral strategies by which people cope with risk.