“Provides an excellent summary of current research on human behavioral ecology in coastal and island environments and begins to push us to a new way of using this framework to understand human behavior in broader and more nuanced ways.”—Leslie Reeder-Myers, coeditor of The Archaeology of Human-Environmental Dynamics on the North American Atlantic Coast  

“An impressive collection that both summarizes human behavioral ecology approaches in coastal regions and provides case studies that explore new methods, ideas, and theoretical applications.”—Christopher S. Jazwa, coeditor of California’s Channel Islands: The Archaeology of Human-Environmental Interactions  

“The diversified nature of the chapters not only enhances our understanding of human adaptations along the terrestrial-marine interface but also increases our knowledge and appreciation of the rich and dynamic character of coastal peoples.”—William R. Hildebrandt, Far Western Anthropological Research Group  

In this volume, contributors apply human behavioral ecology theoretical models to coastal environments around the globe and to the use of coastal resources by past human societies. Evidence demonstrates that coastlines and islands are dynamic environments that were important in early human migrations, and this volume shows how researchers can gain insights about human behavior in these settings through its critical regional reviews and detailed local case studies.

The volume begins by introducing the importance of theory in the reconstruction of human behavior and provides examples of traditional foraging models. Contributors then offer perspectives from North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Polynesia. They discuss unique challenges faced by coastal societies, including extreme seasonality, patchy resource distribution, natural hazards, balancing coastal and terrestrial resource needs, aquatic technological innovation, and multiscale environmental change.

Human Behavioral Ecology and Coastal Environments demonstrates that exploring decision-making and cultural behaviors is key to understanding how humans have lived in and related to these environments. Through its application of human behavioral ecology models, this volume sheds light on the evolving adaptations of societies in a variety of coastal contexts through time and across space.  

Heather B. Thakar is assistant professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University. Carola Flores Fernandez is assistant professor at Escuela de Arqueología, Universidad Austral, Puerto Montt and associate researcher at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas in Chile.

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