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We currently are looking for graduate students to work on the ASOM Project.  Check Opportunities for details!

ASOM : comes from a local Jebali-language term (ʾasὑm) for a type of stone monument used for burial and other purposes in antiquity (al-Shahri 1991: 184). This project will examine how the environment influences human territorial behavior in pastoral ecosystems as well as how territoriality in turn shapes the environment.

We are a very interdisciplinary group of scientists using archeological and ecological techniques to provide new insights into whether climate and vegetation change in the semi-arid region of Dhofar, Oman, are coupled with pulses in human social behavior. In particular, we hope to be able to reconstruct ancient environments alongside patterns of human settlements and mobility during the Bronze Age and Iron Age (last 6000 years).  This information can help us to characterize the driving factors which led to the progressive degradation of pasture lands.  We hope that this improved understanding of the coupled human-natural system in this region will lead to the development of sustainable management and rangeland practices in human environments.