Scott Ortman

Scott G. Ortman (PhD Arizona State University 2010) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was a long-time employee at Crow Canyon, including his work as the Laboratory Director, where he supervised all laboratory analyses. He also was a senior researcher on the Village Ecodynamics Project. He continues to work with Crow Canyon on a variety of research projects.

Scott’s research focuses on historical anthropology, or the integration of theory and data from many fields to understand the long-term histories of indigenous peoples. He is especially interested in the causes and consequences of major transitions—periods when new societies formed, old ones collapsed, or new scales of organization emerged. As examples, he has investigated Tewa Pueblo origins in the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico; the growth and collapse of villages in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado; and more recently, the accumulation of social complexity on a global scale. He is currently working on the Neolithic Revolution in the U.S. Southwest in collaboration with Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the University of Colorado Boulder Museum of Natural History, the emergence of towns in the Tewa Basin, and complex systems approaches to human societies in collaboration with the Santa Fe Institute. Since 2003 he has been involved with the Village Ecodynamics Project, a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration that investigates long-term human-environment interactions in the U.S. Southwest. Prior to coming to the University of Colorado Boulder, he was Director of Research at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, and an Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.