Effects of Loma Oases on South American Human Settlements Clarence E. Dammon Dean Academic Year 2023 Accepted Anthropology, Archaeology, Human Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Population Biology/Ecology Loma oases are ecosystems unique to the arid central-western coast of South America, formed by the winter fog that accumulates on the slopes of the Andean foothills. They become seasonal homes to a unique and diverse suite of plant and animal species. Consequently, archaeologists hypothesize that Loma environments were vital to prehistoric Peruvians’ subsistence and settlement practices. Andean archaeologist Frédéric Engel emphasized this “Loma hypothesis” in his 1980s work. Later research has lent support; however, data are limited. This hypothesis predicts that if Lomas were essential to past people living on the Peruvian coast, then archaeological remains of their prehistoric settlements should be located near ancient Lomas. Interns will learn Geographic Information Systems and statistical inference to evaluate this prediction and the relationship between archaeological sites and Loma locations. Interns will digitize Engel’s archaeological site maps from Ica, Peru, and georeference the archaeological site locations therein. They will use these and the locations of known modern and ancient Lomas and variables known to facilitate Loma formation to model the relationship between Loma and archaeological site location. Model results will provide insight into how Pleistocene humans chose their settlements and the types of non-maritime resources to which they would have access near the south American coast. Erik R Otarola-Castillo Under the supervision of Otárola-Castillo, the Intern will engage the primary literature and target available databases, to help compile paleoenvironmental data (pollen, phytoliths, etc.) and data on prehistoric diets. Following initial data collection, the student will help with data analysis and writing of manuscripts for publication and presentation at international professional conferences http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~eotarola/ Candidates are required to possess a demonstrated interest and skill in two or more of the following: Anthropology, Archaeology, Human Evolutionary Biology/Ecology, Statistics, Computer Science. Interested student must have knowledge of library research procedures (e.g., and inter library loans) and good computer skills. Desired software knowledge includes ArcGIS, Excel, and Access. Optional and highly recommended Computing language skills include R and/or Matlab. 3 10 (estimated)