Gwendolyn Robbins Schug

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Appalachian State U.

Grant number

Gr. 9429

Approve Date

April 18, 2017

Project Title

Robbins Schug, Dr. Gwendolyn, Appalachian State U., Boone, NC - To aid research on 'Climate Change, Resilience, and Agency at Harappa, Pakistan'

Preliminary abstract: This project will examine the social and economic transition that occurred in the city of Harappa at the beginning of the second millennium BCE, with a particular focus on characterizing resilience and human agency in the post-urban period. Drawing on theoretical frameworks of resilience, agency, and practice, this project will evaluate AMS dates, isotopic signatures, and pathogen DNA in the skeletal material from three burial communities at Harappa, spanning the period when the city was abandoned, to assess the impact of climate and the specific strategies employed by people who continued to reside in the city after most of the region was abandoned. My previous research has demonstrated increasing levels of inter-personal violence, infection, and nutritional insufficiency through time at Harappa. Questions remain as to how inequality, personal and community identity shaped human responses to crisis and vulnerability in the post-urban period. AMS dating will provide a tighter chronology for the changes that occurred in the human population. Strontium, Lead, and Oxygen isotope data from the human skeletons will address questions of geographic origins, patterns of migration, and will provide direct evidence for climate change across the urban to post-urban transition. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes will demonstrate ways in which the human population strategized subsistence in the face of these large-scale socio-economic and environmental changes. In addition to the isotopic analyses, samples will be collected for the application of genomic and genetic analyses to address questions about the evolution of MTBC and other mycobacterial pathogens. This project integrates isotopic, molecular, and bioarchaeological approaches to archaeological and social theory research questions focused on human agency and the experience of resilience in the past.