Kurt Rademaker

  • Assistant Professor


McDonel Hall E-25

Curriculum vitae

Research Interests

  • Environmental archaeology
  • Settlement of the Americas
  • Hunter-gatherers
  • Origins of complexity
  • Lithic technology and provenance
  • Geographic information systems
  • Quaternary studies
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration and education

Biographical Info

I am an interdisciplinary archaeologist interested in human-environment dynamics, hunter-gatherer colonization of South America, adaptations in extreme environments, and foundations of complex societies. I have carried out archaeological research and Quaternary studies in Peru and Scotland. I also have worked as an archaeologist in the Eastern Woodlands and Great Basin regions of the U.S., in Mexico, and in Chile. In Peru my team searches for and investigates hunter-gatherer sites from the Pacific coast to the high-elevation Andes. Ongoing collaborations with earth science colleagues are producing high-resolution paleoenvironmental records for comparison with cultural sequences. Collaborative research with physical anthropologists and paleogeneticists is studying how humans have adapted to live in high-elevation mountain regions, some of the most challenging environments on Earth. I encourage any interested students to contact me in advance of applying to the Michigan State University graduate program. More information on my working group’s research is at: www.paleoandes.com

Current Research Projects

“Social Adaptation in a Highly Varied Spatial Environment” – NSF Archaeology Grant #BCS-1659015.

“New Investigations of Human Ecology in the Puna of Junin” – MSU Faculty Initiatives Fund.

Graduate students: Emily Milton (MSU), Sarah Meinekat (U. of Tübingen)


Bromley, G., A. Putnam, B. Hall, K. Rademaker, H. Thomas, A. Balter-Kennedy, S. Barker, and D. Rice, 2021 (in review). Bølling-Allerød advance and Younger Dryas retreat of glaciers downwind of the  North Atlantic. Geology

Chatters, J.C., B.A. Potter, A.M. Prentiss, S.J. Fiedel, G. Haynes, R.L. Kelly, J.D. Kilby, F. Lanoë, J. Holland-Lulewicz, D.S. Miller, J.E. Morrow, A.R. Perri, K.M. Rademaker, J.D. Reuther, B.T. Ritchison, G. Sanchez, I. Sánchez-Morales, M. Spivey-Faulkner, J.W. Tune, and C.V. Haynes, 2021 (in review). Current understanding of the earliest human occupation of the Americas: Evaluating Chiquihuite Cave, Mexico. Science Advances

Meinekat, S., C. Miller, and K. Rademaker, 2020 (in review). Site formation of Cuncaicha rockshelter. Geoarchaeology

Karakostis, A., H. Reyes-Centeno, M. Francken, G. Hotz, K. Rademaker, and K. Harvati, 2020. Bio-cultural evidence of precise manual activities in an early Holocene individual of the high-altitude Peruvian Andes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 174: 35-48.

Nakatsuka, N., I. Lazaridis, C. Barbieri, P. Skoglund, N. Rohland, S. Mallick, C. Posth, K. Harkins-Kinkaid, M. Ferry, É. Harney, M. Michel, K. Stewardson, J. Novak-Forst, J.M. Capriles, M.A. Durruty, K.A. Álvarez, D. Beresford-Jones, R. Burger, L. Cadwallader, R. Fujita, J. Isla, G. Lau, C. Lémuz Aguirre, S. LeBlanc, S. Calla Maldonado, F. Meddens, P.G. Messineo, B.J. Culleton, T.K. Harper, J. Quilter, G. Politis, K. Rademaker, M. Reindel, M. Rivera, L. Salazar, J.R. Sandoval, C.M. Santoro, N. Scheifler, V. Standen, M.I. Barreto, I. Flores Espinoza, E. Tomasto-Cagigao, G. Valverde, D.J. Kennett, A. Cooper, J. Krause, W. Haak, B. Llamas, D. Reich, and L. Fehren-Schmitz, 2020.    Paleogenomic reconstruction of the deep population history of the Andes. Cell 181: 1131-1135.

Menéndez, L. and K. Rademaker, 2020. Estudio ecomorfológico de la variación craneana en poblaciones prehistóricas de Perú. Revista del Museo de La Plata 5(1): 171-189.

Menéndez, L., K. Rademaker, and K. Harvati, 2019. Revisiting east-west skull patterns and the role of random factors in South America: Cranial reconstruction and morphometric analysis of the facial skeleton from Cuncaicha rock shelter (southern Peru). PaleoAmerica 6(1), DOI: 10.1080/20555563.2019.1703167

Bromley, G., J.-C. Thouret, I. Schimmelpfennig, J. Mariño, D. Valdivia, K. Rademaker, S.d.P. Vivanco Lopez, ASTER team, G. Aumaître, D. Bourlés, and K. Keddadouche, 2019. In situ cosmogenic 3He and 36Cl and radiocarbon dating of volcanic deposits refine the Pleistocene and Holocene eruption chronology of SW Peru. Bulletin of Volcanology 81: 64. DOI: 10.1007/s00445-019-1325-6

Putnam, A.E., G.R.M. Bromley, K. Rademaker, and J. Schaefer, 2019. An in situ 10Be production-rate calibration from a 14C-dated late-glacial moraine belt in Rannoch Moor, central Scottish highlands. Quaternary Geochronology 50: 105-125.

Rademaker, K. and G. Hodgins, 2018. Exploring the chronology of occupations and burials at Cuncaicha shelter, Peru. In New Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas, edited by K. Harvati, G. Jäger, and H. Reyes-Centeno. Words Bones Genes Tools: DFG Center for Advanced Studies Series, Vol 1. Kerns Verlag: Tübingen.

Francken, M., J. Beier, H. Reyes-Centeno, K. Harvati, and K. Rademaker, 2018. The human skeletal remains from Cuncaicha rock shelter, Peru. In New Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas, edited by K. Harvati, G. Jäger, and H. Reyes-Centeno. Words Bones Genes Tools: DFG Center for Advanced Studies Series, Vol 1. Kerns Verlag: Tübingen.

Rademaker, K. and K. Moore. 2018. Variation in the occupation intensity of early forager sites of the Andean puna: Implications for settlement and adaptation. In Foraging in the Past: Archaeological Studies of Hunter-Gatherer Diversity, edited by A.K. Lemke. University Press of Colorado: Boulder.

Posth, C., N. Nakatsuka, I. Lazaridis, P. Skoglund, S. Mallick, T.C. Lamnidis, N. Rohland, K. Nägele, N. Adamski, E. Bertolini, N. Broomandkhoshbacht, A. Cooper, B.J. Culleton, T. Ferraz, M. Ferry, A. Furtwängler, W. Haak, K. Harkins, T.K. Harper, T. Hünemeier, A.M. Lawson, B. Llamas, M. Michel, E. Nelson, J. Oppenheimer, N. Patterson, S. Schiffels, J. Sedig, K. Stewardson, S. Talamo, C.-C. Wang, J.-J. Hublin, M. Hubbe, K. Harvati, A. Nuevo Delaunay, J. Beier, M. Francken, P. Kaulicke, H. Reyes-Centeno, K. Rademaker, W.R. Trask, M. Robinson, S.M. Gutierrez, K.M. Prufer, D.C. Salazar-García, E.N. Chim, L. Müller Plumm Gomes, M.L. Alves, A. Liryo, M. Inglez, R.E. Oliveira, D.V. Bernardo, A. Barioni, V. Wesolowski, N.A. Scheifler, M.A. Rivera, C.R. Plens, P.G. Messineo, L. Figuti, D. Corach, C. Scabuzzo, S. Eggers, P. DeBlasis, M. Reindel, C. Méndez, G. Politis, E. Tomasto-Cagigao, D.J. Kennett, A. Strauss, L. Fehren-Schmitz, J. Krause, and D. Reich. 2018. Reconstructing the Deep Population History of Central and South America. Cell 175, 1–13.

Chala-Aldana, D., H. Bocherens, C. Miller, K. Moore, G. Hodgins, and K. Rademaker, 2018. Investigating mobility and highland occupation strategies during the Early Holocene at the Cuncaicha rock shelter through strontium and oxygen isotopes. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 19: 811-827.

Pitblado, B. and K. Rademaker, 2017. Guest editorial: The peopling of high-altitude landscapes of the Americas. Quaternary International 461: 1-3.

Bromley, G.R.M., J.M. Schaefer, B.A. Hall, K.M. Rademaker, A.E. Putnam, C.E. Todd, M. Hegland, G. Winckler, M.S. Jackson, and P. Strand, 2016. A cosmogenic 10Be chronology for the local last glacial maximum and termination in the Cordillera Oriental, southern Peruvian Andes: Implications for the tropical role in global climate. Quaternary Science Reviews 148: 54-67.

Rademaker, K., G. Hodgins, K. Moore, S. Zarrillo, C. Miller, G.R.M. Bromley, P. Leach, D.A. Reid, W. Yépez Álvarez, and D.H. Sandweiss, 2016. Cuncaicha rockshelter, a key site for understanding colonization of the high Andes. Current Anthropology 57(1): 101-103.

Méndez, C., K. Rademaker, and V.G. Standen, 2015. Editorial: Early lithic technology in South America: Moving beyond regional projectile point typologies. Chungara Revista de Antropología Chilena 47: 3-5.

Rademaker, K., 2014. Late ice-age human settlement of the high-altitude Peruvian Andes. Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte 23: 13-35. Tübingen.

Rademaker, K., G. Hodgins, K. Moore, S. Zarrillo, C. Miller, G.R.M. Bromley, P. Leach, D.A. Reid, W. Yépez Álvarez, and D.H. Sandweiss, 2014. Paleoindian settlement of the high-altitude Peruvian Andes. Science 346: 466-469.

Bromley, G.R.M., A.E. Putnam, K.M. Rademaker, T.V. Lowell, J.M. Schaefer, B.L. Hall, G. Winckler, S. Birkel, and H. Borns, 2014. Younger Dryas deglaciation of Scotland driven by warming summers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(17): 6215-6219.

Rademaker, K., M.D. Glascock, B. Kaiser, D. Gibson, D.R. Lux, and M.G. Yates, 2013. Multi-technique geochemical characterization of the Alca obsidian source, Peruvian Andes. Geology 41(7): 779-782.

Sandweiss, D.H. and K.M. Rademaker, 2013. El poblamiento del sur peruano: Costa y sierra. Boletín de Arqueología PUCP 15: 274-294. Lima.

Rademaker, K., G.R.M. Bromley, and D.H. Sandweiss, 2013. Peru archaeological radiocarbon database, 13,000-7000 14C B.P. Quaternary International 30: 34-45.

Rademaker, K., D.A. Reid, and G.R.M. Bromley, 2012. Connecting the dots: Least-cost analysis, paleogeography, and the search for Paleoindian sites in southern highland Peru. In Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes: Archaeological Case Studies, edited by D.A. White and S. Surface-Evans, pp. 32-45. University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City.

Bromley, G.R.M., B.L. Hall, K.M. Rademaker, C.E. Todd, and A.E. Racoviteanu, 2011. Late Pleistocene snowline fluctuations at Nevado Coropuna (15ºS), southern Peruvian Andes. Journal of Quaternary Science 26(3): 305-317.

Bromley, G.R.M., B.L. Hall, J.M. Schaefer, G. Winckler, C.E. Todd, and K.M. Rademaker, 2011. Glacier fluctuations in the southern Peruvian Andes during the late-glacial period, constrained with cosmogenic 3He. Journal of Quaternary Science 26(1): 37-43.

Sandweiss, D.H., A.R. Kelley, D.F. Belknap, J.T. Kelley, K.M. Rademaker, and D.A. Reid, 2009. GPR identification of an early monument at Los Morteros in the Peruvian coastal desert. Quaternary Research 73: 439-448.

Bromley, G.R.M., J.M. Schaefer, G. Winckler, B.L. Hall, C.E. Todd, and K.M. Rademaker, 2009. Relative timing of last glacial maximum and late-glacial events in the central tropical Andes. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 2514–2526.

Perry, L., R. Dickau, S. Zarrillo, I. Holst, D.M. Pearsall, D.R. Piperno, M.J. Berman, R.G. Cooke, K. Rademaker, A.J. Ranere, J.S. Raymond, D.H. Sandweiss, F. Scaramelli, K. Tarble, and J.A. Zeidler, 2007.    Starch fossils and the domestication and dispersal of chili peppers (Capsicum spp.) in the Americas. Science 315, 986-988.

Perry, L., D.H. Sandweiss, D. Piperno, K. Rademaker, M.A. Malpass, A. Umire, and P. de la Vera, 2006. Early maize agriculture and interzonal interaction in southern Peru. Nature 440, 76-79.