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This collection features work by Tim A. Kohler, professor in the anthropology department at Washington State University. Kohler applies method and theory from the study of complex adaptive systems to the study of prehistoric societies. He received his A.B. in General Studies from New College of Sarasota, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from the University of Florida. His dissertation research on Weeden Island societies involved sampling the McKeithen village in North Florida. Since arriving at WSU, he has increasingly specialized in Southwestern archaeology. In the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, he collaborated with William D. Lipe on the Dolores Archaeological Program in southwestern Colorado. Since then, he has directed excavations in Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, and coordinates the interdisciplinary NSF Coupled Natural & Human Systems-funded "Village Ecodynamics Project" to understand the causes for changes in settlement systems in the eastern Southwest between A.D. 600 and 1760. He is a Research Associate at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, and an External Professor and member of the Science Board at the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico.

Much of his work involves quantitative analysis of archaeological data or simulation of aspects of prehistoric behavior. He is especially interested in cooperative behavior, reciprocity, and other processes with evolutionary implications in Neolithic societies, and large-scale patterning in prehistoric societies. At the graduate level he regularly teaches ANTH 530 (Archaeological Method and Theory). In April 2004 he completed a four-year term as editor of American Antiquity. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Digital Antiquity, an initiative to aggregate and preserve archaeological digital data and make it broadly accessible.

He is the only scholar ever to have been recognized with both the Alfred Vincent Kidder Award for Eminence in the Field of American Archaeology (AAA, 2014) and the SAA's Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis (2010).

Recent Submissions

  • Quantifying Household Inequality in Early Pueblo Villages 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Higgins, Rebecca (University of Chicago Press, 2016-10)
    The rapid rise of the “Chaco phenomenon” in northern New Mexico in the ninth century AD invites a search for either historical precursors or generative processes that might have explanatory utility. We analyze one candidate ...
  • Exploration and exploitation in the macrohistory of the pre-Hispanic Pueblo Southwest 

    Bocinsky, R. Kyle; Rush, Johnathan; Kintigh, Keith W.; Kohler, Timothy A. (Science Advances, 2016)
    Cycles of demographic and organizational change are well documented in Neolithic societies, but the social and ecological processes underlying them are debated. Such periodicities are implicit in the “Pecos classification,” ...
  • The social consequences of climate change in the Central Mesa Verde region 

    Schwindt, Dylan M.; Bocinsky, R. Kyle; Ortman, Scott G.; Glowacki, Donna M.; Varien, Mark D.; Kohler, Timothy A. (American Antiquity, 2016)
    The consequences of climate change vary over space and time. Effective studies of human responses to climatically induced environmental change must therefore sample the environmental diversity experienced by specific ...
  • Cultural Dynamics, Deep Time, and Data: Planning Cyberinfrastructure Investments for Archaeology 

    Kintigh, Keith; Altschul, Jeffrey H.; Kinzig, Ann P.; Kohler, Timothy A.; Limp, W. Fredrick; Michener, William K.; Sabloff, Jeremy A.; Hackett, Edward J.; Lud?scher, Bertram; Lynch, Clifford A. (Advances in Archaeological Practice, 2015)
    Archaeological data and research results are essential to addressing such fundamental questions as the origins of human culture; the origin, waxing, and waning of civilizations and cities; the response of societies to ...
  • A 2,000-year reconstruction of the rain-fed maize agricultural niche in the US Southwest 

    Bocinsky, R. Kyle; Kohler, Timothy A. (Nature Communications, 2014)
    Humans experience, adapt to and influence climate at local scales. Paleoclimate research, however, tends to focus on continental, hemispheric or global scales, making it difficult for archaeologists and paleoecologists to ...
  • The Better Angels of Their Nature: Declining Violence Through Time among Prehispanic Farmers of the Pueblo Southwest 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Ortman, Scott G.; Grundtisch, Katie E.; Fitzpatrick, Carly M.; Cole, Sarah M. (American Antiquity, 2014)
    The central Mesa Verde and the northern Rio Grande regions housed two of the densest populations of pre-hispanic Pueblo peoples in the North American Southwest. We plot incidence of violent trauma on human bone through ...
  • Forum: Grand Challenges for Archaeology 

    Kintigh, Keith W.; Altschul, Jeffrey H.; Beaudry, Mary C.; Drennan, Robert D.; Kinzig, Ann P.; Kohler, Timothy A.; Limp, W. Fredrick; Maschner, Herbert D.G.; Michener, William K.; Pauketat, Timothy R.; Peregrine, Peter; Sabloff, Jeremy A.; Wilkinson, Tony J.; Wright, Henry T.; Zeder, Melinda A. (American Antiquity, 2014)
    This article represents a systematic effort to answer the question, What are archaeology’s most important scientific challenges? Starting with a crowd-sourced query directed broadly to the professional community of ...
  • Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS): Approach, Challenges, and Strategies 

    McConnell, William J.; Millington, James D. A.; Reo, Nicholas J.; Alberti, Marina; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Baker, Lawrence A.; Brozovi?, Nicholas; Drinkwater, Laurie E.; Drzyzga, Scott A.; Fragoso, Jos?; Holland, Daniel S.; Jantz, Claire A.; Kohler, Timothy A.; Maschner, Herbert D. G.; Monticino, Michael; Podest?, Guillermo; Pontius, Robert Gilmore, Jr.; Redman, Charles L.; Sailor, David; Urquhart, Gerald; Liu, Jianguo (Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 2011)
    Understanding the complexity of human–nature interactions is central to the quest for both human well-being and global sustainability. To build an understanding of these interactions, scientists, planners, resource managers, ...
  • The Neolithic Demographic Transition in the U.S. Southwest 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Glaude, Matt Pier; Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre; Kemp, Brian M. (American Antiquity, 2008)
    Maize agriculture was practiced in the U.S. Southwest slightly before 2000 B.C., but had a negligible impact on population growth rates until the development or introduction of more productive land races; the ability to ...
  • Historical Ecology in the Mesa Verde Region: Results From The Village Project 

    Varien, Mark D.; Ortman, Scott G.; Kohler, Timothy A.; Glowacki, Donna M.; Johnson, C. David (American Antiquity, 2007)
    Using the occupation histories of 3,176 habitation sites, new estimates of maize-agriculture productivity, and an analysis of over 1,700 construction timbers, we examine the historical ecology of Pueblo peoples during their ...
  • Raiding for Women in the Prehispanic Northern Pueblo Southwest? A Pilot Examination 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Turner, Kathryn Kramer (Current Anthropology, 2006)
    Spatial data on sex ratios through time from archaeological sites in the late pre-Hispanic northern U.S. Southwest reveal significant regional and subregional departures from the expected values. In the eleventh century ...
  • Sunk-Cost Effects Made Ancient Societies Vulnerable to Collapse 

    Janssen, Marco A; Kohler, Timothy A.; Scheffer, Marten (Current Anthropology, 2003)
    In this report we seek to unite these two explanations in a model that suggests why and under what conditions societies faced with resource degradation might “fail to adapt.” We are not peddling a new universal theory for ...
  • Fieldhouses, Villages, and the Tragedy of the Commons in the Early Northern Anasazi Southwest 

    Kohler, Timothy A. (American Antiquity, 1992)
    The appearance of field houses and villages in the early northern Anasazi Southwest is interpreted as containing information concerning inclusiveness of land ownership or control. Early northern Anasazi villages probably ...
  • Long-term Anasazi Land-Use Patterns and Forest Reduction: A Case Study from Southwest Colorado 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Matthews, Meredith H. (American Antiquity, 1988)
    Species of wood used for fuel changed significantly through time at a large Anasazi village in southwestern Colorado occupied from about A.D. 750 to 900. Changes also occurred in other records of plant use from this site, ...
  • Toward a Better Understanding of North Peninsular Gulf Coast Florida Prehistory: Archaeological Reconnaissance in Dixie County, Florida 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Johnson, G. Michael (Florida Anthropologist, 1987-12)
    Archaeological reconnaissance in portions of Dixie County and selected adjacent sections of Taylor and Levy Counties, Florida, resulted in the description of 28 sites that, along with the region's previously known sites, ...
  • Behavioral Correlates of Population Growth: A speculative example from the Middle Chattahoochee 

    Kohler, Timothy A. (Southeastern Archaeology, 1984)
    Proxy estimates of population size through time are compared for a small drainage near Columbus, Georgia and an adjacent portion of the Chattahoochee River valley. Resulting estimates of population growth differ most for ...
  • Surface Estimation of Site Structure and Content, Dolores Project 

    Kohler, Timothy A.; Schlanger, Sarah (Atechiston, Inc., 1980)
    In a program with a regional focus such as the Dolores Project, it is clearly impossible to excavate all the known sites, or even a very large sample of them, and, inevitably much of our inference concerning distributions ...