William Gardner is an anthropologically trained archaeologist interested in studying ancient mobility (or mobile communities) from a comparative perspective. These interests stem from long-term research on ancient Mongolian mobile pastoralists and archaic hunter-gatherers of the Colorado Plateau. Dr. Gardner recently completed his Ph.D. at Yale University on early political complexity and community organization during the early Iron Age on the Mongolian steppe (ca. mid 1st millennium B.C.). As a postdoctoral associate, his research on Inner Asian political traditions has expanded to consider the interaction between coupled human/natural systems.
Dr. Gardner is currently part of a multi-disciplinary team from Yale University, Columbia University and the University of Alaska, that is researching human and climatic drivers of ecosystem change in northern Asia. Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Arctic Social Sciences program, this research looks to identify the connections between ecosystems, climate, human culture and sociopolitical organization that promotes sustainability in a coupled human/natural system. To study this issue the research group seeks to triangulate climate and social patterns with ecosystem functioning based on a combination of archaeological information, forestry records, and lake core data.
As Dr. Gardner moves forward with his career it is his goal to combine experience in both Central Eurasian and West U.S. archaeology to answer broader anthropological questions of how community building processes among mobile peoples are manifested in the archaeological record across space and over time.