Michael Barton

Michael Barton
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Director, Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity


School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University
PO Box 872402
Tempe, AZ 85287-2402

Dr. Barton received his doctoral degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1987. His interests are centered on long-term human ecology and landscape dynamics where he currently has on-going projects in the Mediterranean (late Pleistocene through mid-Holocene) and American Southwest (Holocene-Archaic). His other interests and expertise revolve around hunter/gatherer and early farming societies, geoarchaeology, lithic technology, evolutionary theory with an emphasis on human/environmental interaction, landscape dynamics and techno-economic change. He has completed fieldwork in Spain, Bosnia and various locales in North America.

In addition to directing The Mediterranean Landscape Dynamic project and The Open Agent Based Modeling Consortium, Dr. Barton teaches courses on Scholarly Inquiry, Human Impacts on the Environment, Spatial Technologies in Anthropological Research, Geoarchaeology, Lithic Technology and Issues in Old World Domestication Economies.

PhD, Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1987

MA, Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1980

BA, Anthropology, University of Kansas, 1976

Journal Articles


Barton, M. and J. Riel-Salvatore. 2012. Agents of change: Modeling biocultural evolution in Late Pleistocene western Eurasia. Advances in Complex Systems 15(1-2):115003-1-115003-24. DOI: 10.1142/S0219525911003359.

Barton, M. and J. Riel-Salvatore. 2012. Perception, interaction, and extinction: A reply to Premo. Human Ecology 40(5):797-801. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-012-9530-3.

Barton, M., I. I. Ullah, S. M. Bergin, H. Mitasova and H. Sarjoughian. 2012. Looking for the future in the past: Long-term change in socioecological systems. Ecological Modeling 241:42-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.02.010.


Barton, M., J. Riel-Salvatore, J. M. Anderies and G. Popescu. 2011. Modeling human ecodynamics and biocultural interactions in the Late Pleistocene of western Eurasia. Human Ecology 39:705-725. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-011-9433-8. (link)


Barton, M., I. Ullah and S. Bergin. 2010. Land use, water, and Mediterranean landscapes: Modelling long-term dynamics of complex socio-ecological systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 368:5275-5297.

Barton, M., I. Ullah and H. Mitasova. 2010. Computational modeling and Neolithic socioecological dynamics: A case study from southwest Asia. American Antiquity 75(2):364-386.


Hill, K., M. Barton and A. M. Hurtado. 2009. The emergence of human uniqueness: Characters underlying behavioral modernity. Evolutionary Anthropology 18(5):187-200. DOI: 10.1002/evan.20224. (link)

McClure, S. B., M. Barton and M. Jochim. 2009. Human behavioral ecology and limate change during the transition to agriculture in Valencia, eastern Spain. Journal of Anthropological Research 65(2):253-269.

Miller, A., M. Barton, O. Garcia and J. Bernabeu. 2009. Surviving the Holocene crisis: Human ecological responses to the onset of the current interglacial. Journal of Anthropological Research 65(2):207-220.


Alessa, L., A. Kliskey, P. Williams and M. Barton. 2008. Perception of change in freshwater in remote resource-dependent Arctic communities. Global Environmental Change 18(1):153-164.

Garcia Puchol, O., M. Barton and J. Bernabeu Auban. 2008. Programa de prospección geofísica, microsondeos y catas para la caracterización de un gran foso del IV milenio cal AC en Alt del Punxó (Muro de L'Alcoi, Alacant). Trabajos de Prehistória 65(1):143-154.

Janssen, M. A., L. Na Alessa, M. Barton, S. Bergin and A. Lee. 2008. Towards a community framework for agent-based modeling. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 11(2):Art. 6.

Miller, A. and M. Barton. 2008. Exploring the land: A comparison of land-use patterns in the Middle and Upper Paleolithic of the western Mediterranean. Journal of Archaeological Science 35:1427-1437.

Riel-Salvatore, J., G. Popescu and M. Barton. 2008. Standing at the gates of Europe: Human behavior and biogeography in the southern Carpathians during the Late Pleistocene. Journal of Archaeological Research 27(4):399-417.


Popescu, G., J. Riel-Salvatore and M. Barton. 2007. Biogeographie umana si organizare tehnologica in Pleistocenul Superior in regiunea Carpatilor Meridionali. Materiale si Cercetari Arheoloice III:19-42.


Alessa, L., M. Laituri and M. Barton. 2006. An "all hands" call to the social sciences community: Establishing a community framework for complexity modeling using agent based models and cyberinfrastructure. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9(4):. (link)

Peeples, M., M. Barton and S. Schmich. 2006. Resilience lost: Intersecting landuse and landscape dynamics in the upland Southwest. Ecology and Society 11(2):Art. 22. (link)


Barton, M., J. Bernabeu Auban, O. Garcia Puchol, S. Schmich and L. Molina Balaguer. 2004. Long-term socioecology and contingent landscapes. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11:253-395.

Riel-Salvatore, J. and M. Barton. 2004. Late Pleistocene technology, economic behavior, and land-use dynamics in southern Italy. American Antiquity 69(2):273-290.


Barton, M., J. Bernabeu, J. E. Aura, O. Garcia and N. La Roca. 2002. Dynamic landscapes, artifact taphonomy, and landuse modeling in the western Mediterranean. Geoarchaeology 17(2):155-190.


Bernabeu, J., M. Barton and M. P. Ripoll. 2001. A taphonomic perspective on Neolithic beginnings: Theory, interpretation, and empirical data in the western Mediterranean. Journal of Archaeological Science 28:597-612.

Puchol, O. G. and M. Barton. 2001. Las ocupaciones prehistóricas del Barranc de l'Encantada (Beniarrés, Alacant): Un primer blanace de la intervención auqueológica en al Área. Recerques del Museu d'Alcoi 10(25-42):.


Bernabeu, J., M. Barton, O. Garcia and N. La Roca. 2000. Systemic survey in Alicante, Spain: First results. Tükiye Bilimer Akademisi Arkeoloji Dergisi 3:57-86.


Barton, M., J. Bernabeu, J. E. Aura and O. Garcia. 1999. Landscape dynamics and socioeconomic change: An example from the Polop Alto Valley. American Antiquity 64(4):609-634.

Bernabeu, J., M. Barton, O. Garcia and N. La Roca. 1999. Prospecciones sistemáticas en el valle del Alcoi (Alicante): primeros resultados. Arqueologia Espacial 21:29-64.


Bonillo, V. V., J. E. Aura and M. Barton. 1998. The Upper Paleolithic in Mediterranean Spain: A review of current evidence. Journal of World Prehistory 12(2):121-198.


Barton, M. 1997. Preface. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 7(1):iii-v. DOI: 10.1525/ap3a.1997.7.1.iii.

Barton, M. 1997. Stone tools, style, and social identity: An evolutionary perspective on the archaeological record. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 7(1):141-156. DOI: 10.1525/ap3a.1997.7.1.141. (link)

Barton, M. and G. A. Clark. 1997. Evoluionary theory in archaeological explanation. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 7(1):3-15. DOI: 10.1525/ap3a.1997.7.1.3. (link)

Clark, G. A. and M. Barton. 1997. Rediscovering Darwin. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 7(1):309-319. DOI: 10.1525/ap3a.1997.7.1.309.


Barton, M. and M. P. Neeley. 1996. Phantom cultures of the Levantine Eipipaleolithic. Antiquity 70(267):139-147.

Barton, M., D. I. Olszewski and N. R. Coinman. 1996. Beyond the graver: Reconsidering burin function. Journal of Field Archaeology 23(1):111-125.


Barton, M., G. A. Clark and A. Cohen. 1994. Art as information: Explaining Paleolithic art in Europe. World Archaeology 26(2):184-206.

Neeley, M. P. and M. Barton. 1994. A new approach to interpreting Late-Pleistocene microlith industries in southwest Asia. Antiquity 68(259):275-288.


Barton, M., I. G. Perarnau, E. M. MacMinn-Barton, N. La Roca Cervigon, J. Bernabeu and J. E. Aura. 1992. Informe preliminar sobre la prospección de la Vall del Barxell-Polop (Alcoi-Alacant). Recerques del Museu d'Alcoi 1:81-84.

Rubio Gomis, F. and M. Barton. 1992. Abric de la Falguera: avance preliminar. Anales de la Real Academica de Cultura Valenciana 69:15-30.


Barton, M. 1990. Beyond style and function: A view from the Middle Paleolithic. American Anthropologist 92(1):57-92.

Barton, M. 1990. Modèles de variabilité dans les outils du Paléolithique moyen. L'Anthropologie 93(1):307-310.

Barton, M. 1990. Stone tools and Paleolithic settlement in the Iberian peninsula. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 56:15-32.

Barton, M., F. Rubio Gomis, C. A. Miksicek and D. G. Donahue. 1990. Domestic olive. Nature 346:518-519.

Olszewski, D. I. and M. Barton. 1990. A note on biases in early excavations at Mugharet el-Wade and Nahal Oren. Levant 22(43-46):.



Barton, M., G. A. Clark, D. Yesner and G. Pearson. 2004. The Settlement of the American Continents: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Human Biogeography. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.


Barton, M. 1988. Lithic Variability and Middle Paleolithic Behavior: New Evidence from the Iberian Peninsula. BAR International Series 408, Oxford.

Book Chapters


Bernabeu Auban, J., A. Moreno Martin and M. Barton. 2012. Complex systems, social netowrks, and the evolution of social complexity in the east of Spain from the Neolithic to pre-Roman times. In: Cruz Berrocal, M., L. Garcia Sanjuan and A. Gilman eds., The Prehistory of Iberia: Debating Early Social Stratification and the State. Routledge.


Barton, M. 2008. General fitness, transmission, and human behavioral systems. Pp. 112-119 In: Obrien, N. J. ed., Cultural Transmission. Society for American Archaeology Press.

Diez Castillo, A., M. Barton, N. La Roca Cervigon and J. Bernabeu Auban. 2008. Landscape socioecology in the Serpis Valley (10000-4000 BP). In: Posluschny, A., K. Lambers and I. Herzog eds., Layers of Perception: Proceedings of the 35th CAPP Conference, Berlin, 2007. Dr. Rudolf Habel GmbH Kolloquien zur Vor und Fruhgeschichte.

Indruszewski, G. and M. Barton. 2008. Cost surface DEM modeling of Viking Age seafaring in the Baltic Sea. Pp. 56-64 In: Frescher, B. and A. Dakouri-Hild eds., Beyon Illustration 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology. British Archaeological Reports.

Indruszewski, G. and M. Barton. 2008. Simulating sea surfaces for modeling Viking Age seafaring in the Baltic Sea. Pp. 616-630 In: Clark, J. T. and E. Hagemeister eds., Digital Discovery: Exploring New Frontiers in Human Heritage, CAA 2006. Computer applications and Quantitative Methods in Archa. Archaeolingua.