“What people eat, and how they get it, are a massive part of a person’s daily experience. Understanding what caused changes in those behaviors in the past is important to understanding how we may respond to changes in the future.” – Kurt Wilson.
Kurt is a doctoral candidate in anthropology and a past GCSC fellow working with Dr. Brian Codding. He led a study with University of Utah anthropologists providing a blueprint to systematically untangle and evaluate the power of both climate and population size on the varied diets across a region in the past.
The researchers used data from Peruvian, northern Chilean and Lake Titicaca archaeological sites and compared dietary trends over time, across three elevation categories: coastal, mid-elevation and highland. This allowed them to capture how much of diet is explained by population change and local climate, which estimates how much might be due to other social factors.