Anthropology Brown Bag Talk: Abby Buffington, "The Pastoral Niche"
Abby Buffington, a Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar at William & Mary, presents "The Pastoral Niche: Tracing Landscape Formation Under the Conditions of Herding in Holocene South Arabia." Pastoral systems predominate in tropical drylands. While mischaracterized as agents of degradation, herders and their animals are most often stable components of sometimes millennia long histories of livestock keeping in these regions. Buffington's research is focused on investigating the ways pastoral practice impacts on and particularly under major climatic shifts. Buffington explores these dynamics through multivariate analysis of the paleoecological and archaeological records associated with early pastoral societies in South Arabia, including the Republic of Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman.