Dr. Dave E. Rhode

Research Professor Archeology

Professional Interests

Dr. Rhode is a prehistorian, archaeobotanist, and paleoecologist with 25 years experience throughout western North America. His main focus of research concerns prehistoric human adaptations and paleoenvironmental change in arid environments. Towards this end, he has analyzed packrat middens in the eastern Great Basin and western Mojave Desert, examined plant remains from various archaeological sites throughout the Great Basin and American Southwest, and studied phytoliths (mineral bodies from plant cells) extracted from archaeological sites. In addition to his paleoenvironmental research, Dr. Rhode has directed and managed several archaeological projects, including a large cultural resources protection program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as well as in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, and Alaska. Recently, he has also explored early human occupation in China and Jordan.

During his studies of regional land use patterns of prehistoric people in the Great Basin, Dr. Rhode expanded the use of dating techniques such as thermoluminescence and obsidian hydration for developing chronologies of regional land use patterns as reflected in the surface archaeology of the Great Basin. Southwestern experience includes a detailed study of prehistoric and historic study of Zuni agricultural land use and water control in west-central New Mexico. His interest in the history of Native American groups in western North America led to his co-editing a recent volume on the Paiute, Shoshonean, and Ute ("Numic") peoples who inhabited the intermountain west in late prehistoric and historic times and to the publication of an illustrated ethnobotany of southern Nevada.

Area of Research Interest and Expertise

  • Anthropology and Archaeology Research
  • Ethnobiology
  • Paleocology and Paleoclimatology
  • Paleoenvironmental Research

Recent Research Projects


Ph.D. 1987 University of Washington Anthropology
D.C. 1982 University of Washington Anthropology
B.S. 1978 University of California, Davis Anthropology / Botany

Publications & Presentations


Perreault, C., Boulanger, M., Hudson, A., Rhode, D. E., Madsen, D., Olsen, J., Steffen, M., Quade, J., Glascock, M., Brantingham, P. (2016). Characterization of Obsidian from the Tibetan plateau by XRF and NAA., Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, 5, 392-399


Graf, K., Krasinski, K., DiPietro, L., Gore, A., Smith, H., Culleton, B., Kennett, D., Rhode, D. E. (2015). Dry Creek Revisited: New Excavations, Radiocarbon Dates, and Site Formation Inform on the Peopling of Eastern Beringia, American Antiquity, 80, 671-694
Hou, G., Lai, Z., Cao, G., E, C., Sun, Y., Rhode, D. E., Feathers, J. (2015). The earliest prehistoric pottery in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and its archaeological implications, Quarternary Geochronology, 30 (pt B0, 431-437
Louderback, L., Rhode, D. E., Madsen, D. B., Metcalf, M. (2015). Rapid Vegetation Shifts in the Uinta Mountains (Utah and Wyoming, USA) during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 438, 327-343
Rhode, D. E., Louderback, L. (2015). Bonneville Basin Environments During the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition. In The Paleoarchaic Occupation of the Old River Bed Delta, University of Utah Anthropological Papers, 128, 22-29
Rhode, D. E., Rhode, A. (2015). Energetic Return Rates from Limber Pine Seeds, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, 35, (2), 291-304


Madsen, D., Oviatt, C., Yan, Z., Brantingham, P., Elston, R., Chen, F., Bettinger, R., Rhode, D. E. (2014). The early appearance of Shuidonggou core-and-blade technology in north China: Implications for the spread of anatomically modern humans in northeast Asia?, 347, 21-28, Quaternary International
Rhode, D. E., Brantingham, P., Perrault, C., Madsen, D. B. (2014). Mind the Gaps: Testing for hiatuses in regional radiocarbon records., Journal of Archaeological Science, 52, 567-577
Yatavelli, L., Chakrabarty, R. K., Gyawali, M., Knue, J., Engling, G., Moosmuller, H., Rhode, D. E., Chen, L.-W.A., Wang, X., Chow, J. C., Watson, J. G. (2014). Emissions from Burning Incense and Dung: Two Unregulated Sources of Brown Carbon in Asia, 33nd Annual Conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research: Orlando, FL, October 20, 2014


Goebel, T., Hockett, B., Adams, K. D., Rhode, D. E., Graf, K. (2011). Climate, environment, and humans in North America's Great Basin during the Younger Dryas, 12,900-11,600 calendar years ago, 242, 479-501


Adams, K. D., Goebel, T., Graf, K., Smith, G., Camp, A. J., Briggs, R., Rhode, D. E. (2008). Late Pleistocene and early Holocene lake-level fluctuations in the Lahontan basin, Nevada: Implications for the distribution of archaeological sites, 23, (5), 608-643


Rhode, D. E. (2000). Packrat Middens as a Tool for Reconstructing Historic Ecosystems, In Techniques for Discovering Historic Ecosystems, Island Press: Covelo, CA
Rhode, D. E. (2000). Review of Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Arid Lands, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Accepted
Rhode, D. E., Madsen, D. B. (2000). Middle and Late Wisconsin Vegetation History in the Bonneville Basin, Chapter 11, In Late Quaternary Paleoecology in the Bonneville Basin, Utah Geological Survey Monograph Series: Salt Lake City, UT, Accepted
Rhode, D. E., Madsen, D. B. (2000). Chapter 12: Holocene Vegetation History in the Bonneville Basin, In Late Quaternary Paleoecology in the Bonneville Basin, Utah Geological Survey Monograph Series: Salt Lake City, UT, Accepted