Workshop: Human Migration as Understood from a Long-Term Perspective
Human migration is much in the news. Often, the public debate is
loud and divisive, striking at core issues of global economics, national
politics, and social relations. While much of the debate is ill informed, there
is a substantial amount of good research on the various issues related to
migration. Almost all of this research is focused on contemporary migration,
with very little use of historical data older than a few generations.
Migration, however, has been central to human existence since the dawn of
humanity. The social processes involved in migration can unfold over hundreds,
if not thousands, of years. Understanding these processes is central to
designing successful policies on migration. Archaeology is key to this
In 2019, CfAS, Society for American Archaeology, the European
Association of Archaeologists, and the Amerind Foundation co-sponsored a CfAS
design workshop on human migration as understood from a long-term perspective.
The workshop brought together 15 participants from seven countries, with
experience from six continents. The workshop led to the development of three
proposed projects, which CfAS will move
toward implementation in 2020. The workshop is detailed in a report presented
in the CfAS Fall 2019 newsletter and produced a statement published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences.
Altschul, Jeffrey H., Keith W. Kintigh, Mark Aldenderfer, Elise Alonzi, Ian Armit,
Juan Antonio Barceló, Christopher S. Beekman,
Penny Bickle, Douglas W. Bird,
Scott E. Ingram, Elena Isayev, Andrew W. Kandel, Rachael Kiddey, Hélène
Timpoko Kienon-Kaboré, Franco Niccolucci, Corey S. Ragsdale, Beth K. Scaffidi,
and Scott G. Ortman
2020 Opinion: To understand how migrations
affect human securities, look to the past.
Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences. First published
August 5, 2020.