Russell Greaves portrait
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Anthropology Department

Research Statement

 

I have extensive experience in American archaeology of hunting and gathering, small scale agriculture, complex societies, and historic archaeology. I have performed CRM and research archaeology of an array of Paleoindian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric archaeological records. I also have worked on many projects examining 17th-20th century historic period Native American, Euro-American, and African-American sites in the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, Southwest, Great Plains, and other regions. The broad geographic and temporal extent of my archaeological fieldwork gives me a strong comparative perspective on archaeological research and cultural variability. My research interests highlight technological adaptations, linking material culture to subsistence practices, and using broad comparative approaches to better understand the archaeological record. I have training and experience in lithic analysis, geoarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, ethnobotany and paleoethnobotany, ceramic analysis, spatial analysis, and settlement studies. I have developed a vigorously interdisciplinary approach and bring a unique breadth of experience to significant ecologically based cross-cultural study of human behavior and material culture.

I have conducted long-term ethnoarchaeological and ethnographic research with the Pumé, a group of hunter-gatherers living in the savannas of Venezuela. This research is multi-disciplinary adding empirical data on the design and use of technology in relation to resource acquisition and environmental variability. I am currently engaged in ongoing ethnoarchaeological, ethnographic, and museum research. I am a senior consultant on a multiple year research project with Dr. Karen Kramer in a Yucatec Maya community in Mexico. Dr. Kramer and I also continue to collaborate on longitudinal investigations among the Pumé, comparing technology, subsistence activities, health, and demography. I also have performed ethnoarchaeological fieldwork with Navajo pastoralists in Arizona, the Hopi Tribe, the Pueblo of Acoma, the Pueblo of Laguna, the Pueblo of Santo Domingo, the Pueblo of San Felipe, and the Pueblo of Santa Ana. 

My research involves ongoing museum collections studies. I have donated a comprehensive and thoroughly documented collection of Pumé material culture to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. I also maintain research relationships with the American Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museo de Ciencias Naturales in Venezuela, the Musée du quai Branley in Paris, and the Musée d’ethnographie de Genève in Switzerland. I have conducted comparative analyses of collections from these institutions. I am updating detailed catalog information for all these Pumé collections, including construction details, raw material identification, native artifact names, uses, and cross-listing cross-listing each example in these museum collections. I am expanding these comparisons to collections from adjacent groups to address regional patterns of material culture variation. My research on Pumé museum collections combines data from behavior observation, archival documentation, multiple ethnographies, historic information, and material studies to address technology and cultural variability within nineteenth-twenty-first century Pumé adaptations. My research program combines the detailed observations from ethnoarchaeological research with comparisons of collections at larger temporal and geographic scales to provide perspectives on technological organization, cultural variation, and behavioral ecology unavailable from any single ethnographer’s fieldwork opportunities. This links ethnographic data with the deeper temporal resolution of the archaeological record. 

Research Keywords

  • Hunters and gatherers
  • Small-scale agricultural societies
  • Technology
  • Subsistence
  • Human evolutionary ecology
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Ethnobotany and paleoethnobotany
  • Zooarchaeology
  • American archaeology
  • Ethnology
  • Museum studies

Presentations

  • Participant in School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar, "21st-Century Hunting and Gathering: Foraging on a Transitional Landscape". Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves, "Diversify or replace: what happens when cultigens are introduced into hunter-gatherer diets"; Russell D. Greaves and meeting participants, "21st century hunter-gatherer economics", workshop coordinator for data collection on modern foraging practices. Santa Fe, NM. Panel, Presented, 05/2013.
  • Russell D. Greaves and Karen L. Kramer. "Ethnoarchaeological observations of resource tradeoffs: using Pumé savanna hunter-gatherer subsistence choices to model archaeological diets". 78th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu, HI. Conference Paper, Presented, 04/2013.
  • "Social practices and environmental adaptations: dancing and production labor organization". Department of Anthropology, Connecticut College, New London, CT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2012.
  • "Shooting at a bigger target: expanding ethnoarchaeology to broadly defined problems beyond simple analogy". 77th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Memphis, TN. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 04/2012.
  • Museum exhibit for HEB 1325 class, Evolution of Technology. Teaching display (March 19-April 9, 2012), Measuring Complexity of Tools. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Other, Presented, 04/2012.
  • "Human evolution and technology: archaeological challenges to understanding past behavioral adaptations of hominins". Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/2011.
  • 2011 "South American hunter-gatherer subsistence: environmental contrasts between foraging and farming". Department of Anthropology, Connecticut College, New London, CT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/2011.
  • "Community Networks: dancing foragers in an impoverished environment". Social Network Analysis Across Small-Scale Societies Seminar, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Panel, Presented, 03/2011.
  • Russell D. Greaves and Karen L. Kramer. "Strong traditions: cultural changes, self-determination, and community development in the Maya village of Xculoc". Merida English Language Library, Mérida, Mexico. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 07/2010.
  • "How ethnoarchaeology gets scientific eyes: Binford’s dynamic ethnoarchaeology building archaeological views beyond just-so individual events". 75th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, St. Louis, MO. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 04/2010.
  • "Human origins and evolution". Harvard Extension School, Spring 2011 Faculty Panel, Cambridge, MA. Panel, Presented, 04/2010.
  • "Hunter-gather subsistence: variation and the relationship to initial food production". Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/2010.
  • Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. "Postmarital residence patterns among Pumé foragers". 108th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Philadelphia, PA. Conference Paper, Presented, 10/2009.
  • "Etnología médica del cuerpo y el comportamiento: demografía, salud, reproducción, adaptación y economía Pumé". Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicos, Caracas, Venezuela. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 07/2009.
  • "Taphonomic views of tools: ethnoarchaeological examination of technological activities in relation to other behaviors that form archaeological sites" 74th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta, GA. Conference Paper, Presented, 04/2009.
  • "Savanna subsistence and technological tactics: ethnoarchaeology of Pumé foraging dynamics in Venezuela". Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/2009.
  • Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. "Middle childhood among Pumé girls: growth patterns, time allocation and energy budgets". 107th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA. Conference Paper, Presented, 10/2008.
  • "Ethnoarchaeology at temporal scales of archaeological site formation: subsistence tools and landscape use among Pumé foragers of Venezuela". Department of Anthropology, Archaeology Wing, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/2008.
  • Karen L. Kramer, Russell D. Greaves, and Peter T. Ellison. "Early first birth among Pumé foragers: implications of a pooled energy budget to life history tradeoffs". International Seminar on Trade-offs in Female Life Histories: Raising New Questions in an Integrative Framework, Panel on Evolutionary Perspectives in Demography, International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, Bristol, UK. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 06/2008.
  • "Patch choice and exploitation strategies: ecology and subsistence of Pumé foragers in the savannas of Venezuela". Department of Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, RI. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2008.

Languages

  • Spanish, fluent.
  • German, functional.
  • Mandarin Chinese, basic.
  • Pumé, functional.
  • Yucatán Maya, basic.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • United States of America
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Mexico

Publications

  • Russell D. Greaves and Karen L. Kramer. Hunter-gatherer use of wild plants and domesticates: archaeological implications for mixed economies before agricultural intensification. Journal of Archaeological Science 41:263-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.08.014 (published online September 20, 2013). In press, 09/20/2013.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...
  • 2013. Robert S. Walker, Stephen Beckerman, Mark V. Flinn, Michael Gurven, Christopher R. von Rueden, Karen L. Kramer, Russell D. Greaves, Lorena Córdoba, Diego Villar, Edward H. Hagen. Jeremy M. Koster, Lawrence Sugiyama, Tiffany E. Hunter, and Kim R. Hill. Living with kin in lowland horticultural societies. Current Anthropology. 54 (1):96-103. Published, 02/2013.
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668867
  • 2012. Amanda Veille, Karen L. Kramer, Jeffrey Winking, Russell D. Greaves, and Michael Gurven. Infant growth and the thymus: data from two South American Native societies. American Journal of Human Biology 24 (6):768-775. Published, 12/2012.
  • 2011. Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. Juvenile subsistence effort, activity levels, and growth patterns: middle childhood among Pumé foragers. Human Nature 22 (3):303-326. Published, 09/2011.
  • 2011. Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. Postmarital residence and bilateral kin associations among hunter-gatherers: Pumé foragers living in the best of both worlds. Human Nature 22 (1-2):41-63. Published, 03/2011.
  • 2010. Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. Cambios en los patrones de mortalidad infantil y fertilidad entre cazadores-recolectores y horticultores Pumé: implicaciones para el crecimiento poblacional y desarrollo sostenible. Antropológica 54 (113):5-41. Published, 06/2010.
  • 2010. Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. Synchrony between growth and reproductive patterns in human females: early investment in growth among Pumé foragers. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 141(2):235-244. Published, 02/2010.
  • 2009. Karen L. Kramer, Russell D. Greaves, and Peter T. Ellison. Early reproductive maturity among Pumé foragers: implications of a pooled energy model to fast life histories. American Journal of Human Biology 21 (4):430-437. Published, 08/2009.
  • 2008. Charles E. Hilton and Russell D. Greaves. Seasonality and sex differences in travel distance and resource transport in Venezuelan foragers. Current Anthropology 49 (1): 144-153. Published, 02/2008.
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/524760
  • 2007. Karen L. Kramer and Russell D. Greaves. Changing patterns of infant mortality and fertility among Pumé foragers and horticulturalists. American Anthropologist 109 (4):713-726. Published, 12/2007.
  • 2007. Russell D. Greaves. The ethnoarchaeology of hunting and collecting: Pumé foragers of Venezuela. Expedition 49 (1):18-27. Published, 04/2007.
  • 2006. Russell D. Greaves. Forager landscape use and residential organization. In Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology of Mobility, edited by F. Sellet, R. Greaves, and P. L. Yu, pp. 127-152. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Published, 04/2006.
  • 2006. Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology of Mobility. Edited by Frédéric Sellet, Russell Greaves, and Pei-Lin Yu. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Published, 04/2006.
  • 2004. Charles E. Hilton and Russell D. Greaves. Age, sex, and resource transport in Venezuelan foragers. In From Biped to Strider: The Emergence of Modern Human Walking, Running, and Resource Transport, edited by D. J. Meldrum and C. E. Hilton, pp. 163-181. Kluwer, New York. Published, 04/2004.
  • 2003. Russell D. Greaves and Alissa Dill. Pumé staking a claim in Venezuela. Cultural Survival Quarterly 27 (2):58. Published, 07/2003.
  • 1999. Pei-Lin Yu and Russell D. Greaves. Use and self-determination among traditional Pumé hunter-gatherers in Venezuela. Cultural Survival Quarterly 23 (4):78-79. Published, 12/1999.
  • 1997. Russell D. Greaves. Hunting and multifunctional use of bows and arrows: ethnoarchaeology of technological organization among Pumé hunters of Venezuela. In Projectile Technology, edited by H. Knecht, pp. 287-320. Plenum Press, New York. Published, 04/1997.
  • 1995. Charles E. Hilton and Russell D. Greaves. Mobility patterns in modern human foragers. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Supplement 20:111. Published, 01/1995.