Santa Fe Institute


Research Themes

Research Projects

Interest Areas

  • Agent-based modeling of social and natural systems
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology of US Southwest
  • conceptual systems, conceptual metaphor, syntax-semantics-pragmatics;
  • Coupled Human-Natural Systems
  • Historical/Comparative Linguistics
  • Political Behavior
  • Political Psychology
  • Prehistoric migrations

Scott Ortman

External Professor

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Univeristy of Colorado, Boulder

Curriculum Vitae


I am an anthropologist by training who has several related interests. One is the analysis and modeling of coupled natural and human systems over long periods, especially in the U.S. Southwest. Another is historical anthropology, or the integration of historical linguistics, human biology, archaeology, and oral tradition to better-understand the histories of non-literate societies. I am also interested in applications of concepts and methods from cognitive linguistics in historical linguistics and archaeology. Finally, I am interested in the role of political processes in the evolution of human diversity; especially the ways discourse and power interact with material conditions and individual rationality to promote or discourage social transformation.


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