David Sandeford

Graduate Assistant/Associate
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
2402

Student Information

Graduate Student
Anthropology
The College of Lib Arts & Sci

Education

MA, Columbia University 
MA, University of Chicago
BA, University of Texas at Austin

 

Publications

Sandeford, DS. 2020. A quantitative analysis of intensification in the ethographic record. SocArxivosf.io/preprints/socarxiv/2ph8y. Under revision at Nature Human BehaviourRunner up for the 2020 Reynold Ruppe Prize for best paper in archaeology by a graduate student in SHESC.

Hamilton, M, Walker, RS, Buchanan B, and Sandeford, DS. 2020. Scaling population structure across levels of sociopolitical complexity. SocArxiv. osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/f693m/. Under revision at PLoS ONE.

Sandeford, DS. 2018. Organizational complexity and demographic scale in primary states. Royal Society Open Science 5:171137. http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/5/5/171137Awarded the 2019 Reynold Ruppe Prize for best paper in archaeology by a graduate student in SHESC.

Sandeford, DS. n.d. Chomsky versus Habermas on human nature. Master's thesis, University of Chicago.

Research Interests

social evolution; comparative social science

Publications

Sandeford, DS. 2019. More for less? A complex systems analysis of the intensification of food production in the ethographic record. SocArxivosf.io/preprints/socarxiv/2ph8y.

Hamilton, M, Walker, RS, Buchanan B, and Sandeford, DS. 2019. Scaling major transitions in human sociopolitical complexity. SocArxiv. osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/f693m/

Sandeford, DS. 2018. Organizational complexity and demographic scale in primary states. Royal Society Open Science 5:171137. http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/5/5/171137. Awarded the 2019 Reynold Ruppé Prize for best paper in archaeology by a graduate student in SHESC.

Sandeford, DS. n.d. Chomsky versus Habermas on human nature. Master's thesis, University of Chicago.

 

Manuscripts in preparation for submission:

  1. The complex structure of middle-range societies in the American Southwest, 1200-1700 
  2. Settlement scaling in the prehistoric Oaxaca valley (lead author)
  3. Economic growth in the ancient Zapotec state
  4. Energetic analysis of early farming supports the farming/language dispersal hypothesis in Mesoamerica

 

 

 

 

 

Research Activity

I research the evolution of complex human societies. The scale and consequences of the evolution of human societies over the last 10,000 years are difficult to overstate. For most of our evolutionary history human socities were universally small-scale, egalitarian, mobile, foraging groups. Today all humans live in large-scale, stratified, urbanized, agricultural states characterized by vast political and economic inequalities. I use large-scale, comparative data sets to model the processes and mechanisms that drove this fundamental reorganization of human social life.

I investigate many topics related to social evolution, including: the development, spread, and intensification of agriculture; the emergence of urbanism and the formation of chiefdoms, states, and empires; the complex social network structure of human societies; patterns in energy consumption; and, demograpic growth.

I am also deeply interested how human evolutionary biology or human nature informs social evolution. My earliest work was dedicated to the intellectual history of the notion of human nature in western social thought, particularly as it was developed in the social sciences after the enlightenment. I was heavily influenced by the work of Chomsky, E. O. Wilson, Pinker, and others, and remain committed to integrating the biological notion of human nature into social scientific theory. 

Presentations

Courses taught at various community colleges: Introduction to sociology; Contemporary social problems.