With National Science Foundation support, Dr. Winifred Creamer will analyze a large series of ceramic materials collected through archaeological excavation in the U.S. Southwest. She will also take a series of computer, statistical and mathematics courses, mostly at the University of Northern Illinois, to improve her analytic skill. This will permit her to approach her study using the most appropriate techniques. Anthropologists generally believe that Native American population size decreased dramatically around the time of European contact. However the exact nature, timing and cause of this decline probably varied from area to area. It is also possible that in some regions population was not affected. The Southwest is a particularly interesting both because of the high level of social complexity achieved before European contact and because decline seems to date well before Spanish influence was felt. The largest ruins in the Anasazi region were abandoned before Columbus arrived in the New World. Dr. Creamer wishes to reconstruct Anasazi population size both pre and post contact and learn how it changed over time. On this basis she will try to understand the causal mechanisms involved. To do this however a fine-scale chronological control is necessary and at the present time it is not possible to date sites with sufficient accuracy. Dr. Creamer will study ceramic remains which have been recovered in secure stratigraphic contexts, examine how this body of material culture changes over time and then use the ceramic sequence to date individual sites. In this Career Advancement Award, Dr. Creamer will also expand her own skills. Research of this kind requires computer, statistical and mathematic expertise which Dr. Creamer does not possess. Through a series of university courses and hands on learning she will acquire the necessary expertise. This research is important for several reasons. It will provide information of interest to many archaeologists. It will increase our understanding of the processes of culture change and contact and finally it will assist in the training of an accomplished scientist.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
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John E. Yellen
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Northern Illinois University
De Kalb
United States
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