Dr. Dolly Freidel


Areas of Specialization

  • Geomorphology
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Paleoclimatology

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.—Geography, University of Oregon, 1993
  • M.A.— Geography, University of Oregon, 1989
  • B.A.— Geography, Sonoma State University, 1987


Recent Publications

    Neff, Hector, Deborah M. Pearsall, John G. Jones, Barbara Arroyo, Shawn K. Collins, and Dorothy E. Freidel, (in press). “Early Maya adaptive patterns: Mid-to Late Holocene paleoenvironmental evidence from Pacific Guatemala.” Latin American Antiquity.

    Neff, Hector, Deborah M. Pearsall, John G. Jones, Barbara Arroyo de Pieters, and Dorothy E. Freidel. (2006). “Climate change and population history in the Pacific Lowlands of Southern Mesoamerica. Quaternary Research 65:390-400.

    Dorothy Freidel, Editor, The California Geographer, (annual peer reviewed publication), 2003-present

    Connolly, Thomas J. and Dorothy E. Freidel (accepted). “Alluvial stratigraphy of Two Localities in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and Implications for the Holocene Cultural Record.” Geoarchaeology

    Eugenia J. Robinson, Patricia M. Farrell, Kitty F. Emery, Dorothy E. Freidel and Geoffrey E. Braswell (2002). “Preclassic Settlements and Geomorphology in the Highlands of Guatemala: Excavations at Urias, Valley of Antigua.” In "Incidents of Archaeology in Central American and Yucatan: Essays in Honor of Edwin M. Shook." Michael Love, Marion Popenoe de Hatch, and Hector Escobedo, eds. University of America Press: Lanham, Maryland.

    Freidel, Dorothy (2001 ). “Pleistocene Lake Chewaucan: Two Short Pieces on Hydrological Connections and Lake-level Oscillations” In, “Quaternary Studies near Summer Lake, Oregon.” Rob Negrini, Silvio Pezzopane, and Tom Badger, Eds. Friends of the Pleistocene Ninth Annual Pacific Northwest Cell Field Trip, September 2001 Field Guide.

    Robinson, Eugenia, Marlen Garnica, Dorothy Freidel, John Jones, and Patricia Farrell (2001). “El Preclasico en Urias, un Sitio en las Tierras Altas de Guatemala.” XV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala. Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes: Guatemala City.

    Neff, Hector, Barbara Arroyo, Deborah Pearsall, John G. Jones, Dorothy E. Freidel, and Cesar Vientimilla (2001). “Medioambiente y Ocupacion Humana en la costa sur de Guatemala.” XV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala. Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes: Guatemala City.

    O'Neill, Brian L., Thomas J. Connolly, and Dorothy E. Freidel (1999). "The Long Tom and Chalker Sites: a Holocene Geoarchaeological Record for the Upper Willamette Valley", Oregon State Museum of Anthropology Report 99-6, 285 pages.

    Freidel, Dorothy E. (1999)."Newberry Crater Soils and Stratigraphy", Chapter 5, pp. 41-49, In "Newberry Crater: A Ten-Thousand-Year Record of Human Occupation and Environmental Change in the Basin-Plateau Borderlands" by Thomas J. Connolly. University of Utah Anthropological Papers, No. 121. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

    Robinson, Eugenia, Marlen Garnica, Dorothy Freidel, and Patricia Farrell (1998). “El Preclasio en Urias: Adaptacion Cultural y Ambiental en el Valle de Antigua, Guatemala.” XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes.

    Freidel, D.E. (1996). Paleoclimatic implications of Late Quaternary lake level fluctuations in south-central Oregon. In "Ongoing Paleoclimatic Studies in the Northern Great Basin," (L.V. Benson and S. Hostetler, Eds.). Water Resources Investigation Paper, U.S. Geological Survey.

    Freidel, D.E. (1996). Geomorphic setting of four archaeological sites along the North Umpqua River, Oregon. In "Streamside Occupations in the North Umpqua River Drainage Before and After the Eruption of Mount Mazama", Chapter 5, (Brian O'Neill, Ed.), University of Oregon Anthropological Papers 55, University of Oregon

Recent Papers

    Freidel, Dorothy E. and Dennis L. Jenkins, (2005). “Along the shores of Winter Lake: people and paleoenvironment of Pleistocene-Holocene transition near Paisley, South-Central Oregon,” Assn. of American Geographers, Denver.

    Freidel, Dorothy E., (2004). “Early Holocene lake level oscillation in Winter Lake, Paisley, Oregon”. Assn. of Pacific Coast Geographers, San Luis Obispo.

    Freidel, Dorothy (2004). “From Russell to Negrini, 120 years of paleolake research in South-Central Oregon,” in Symposium, “A Century of Geomorphology”. Assn. of American Geographers, Philadelphia.

    Freidel Dorothy E. and Eugenia Robinson, (2003). “Volcanic and cultural stratigraphy at Casa de las Golondrinas, Antigua Valley, Guatemala”. Association of American Geographers meeting, New Orleans.

    Freidel, Dorothy E. and Thomas J. Connolly, (2002). “A Stratigraphic Record of 10,000 Year Occupation on the Long Tom River Floodplain, Willamette Valley, Oregon”, American Quaternary Assn meeting, Anchorage

    Freidel, Dorothy E., Hector Neff, John G. Jones, Deborah M. Pearsall, and Barbara Arroyo(2001). “Changes in coastal morphology in relation to Early Formative populations on the Pacific Coast, Guatemala.” Assn. of American Geographers, New York.

    Freidel, Dorothy E., John G. Jones, and Eugenia J. Robinson, (2001). “Paleoenvironment of Urias Preclassic site in the Antigua Valley, Guatemala” in Symposium: "Paleoenvironments and Early Human Occupation in Southern Mesoamerica." Society for American Archaeology, New Orleans.

    Neff, Hector, Dorothy E. Freidel, and John G. Jones, (2001). "Humans on the Changing Holocene Landscape of the Guatemalan Pacific Coast," ” in Symposium: "Paleoenvironments and Early Human Occupation in Southern Mesoamerica." Society for American Archaeology, New Orleans.

    Dorothy E. Freidel, John G. Jones, Eugenia J. Robinson, (2000). “Lacustrine stratigraphy, tephra, and pollen as evidence of the Maya Preclassic paleoenvironment in the Antigua Valley, Guatemala”. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 32, No. 7, November 2000.

    Neff, Hector, Bárbara Arroyo, Deborah Pearsall, John G. Jones, Dorothy E. Freidel, y Cesar Veintimilla (2000). Medioambiente y Ocupación Humana en la Costa Sur de Guatemala. XIV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes.

    Robinson, Eugenia J., Dorothy Freidel, John Jones, David Woodward, and Patricia Farrell (2000). Preclassic sedentism at Urias in the Guatemalan Highlands. Society for American Archaeology, Philadelphia, April 2000.

In My Own Words

    Typical of many geographers, my research and teaching interests have been broad. My research falls into two main categories: geoarchaeological studies and the relationship between Pleistocene and Holocene climate variations and paleolakes.

    My initial areas of research were focused on learning about the interaction between climate change and hydrological systems and landforms in Eastern Oregon. I studied three ancient lakes that filled tectonically closed basins in Lane County, Oregon. Because the lake basins had no outlets, when the weather got colder or wetter, as during the most recent Ice Age, the lakes filled, and spilled from one basin to the next. When the climate warmed up and dried out, in the past 15,000 years, the lakes dried up. These lakes left behind evidence of their rise and fall in beaches, spits, and coastal erosional features.

    One of the most exciting aspects of this work has been the recent discovery of human artifacts and other materials in lakeside caves. This research indicates that pre-Clovis people lived in the caves near the ancient lakes as much as 14,300 calibrated years ago, about 1000 years earlier than previously thought. This work is helping change the paradigm of when the first humans migrated into the lower regions of North America at the end of the last glaciation. My excavations into shoreline deposits near the caves yielded a human made stone tool that surely was dropped by someone walking along that beach 14,000 years ago.

    Other recent research I've been working on is in the highlands of Guatemala, near Antigua. One of the several archaeological sites I’ve been studying has produced evidence of very early maize (corn) domestication (4,300 years before present), as much as 1000 years before such farming began on the Guatemalan Pacific Coast, and 1000 years after maize was first domesticated in the northern lowlands and in Mexico. I obtained the evidence from ancient lake sediments in a small laguna that fills a volcanic caldera, now a coffee plantation.

    I've also been working on the Pacific coasts of Guatemala and Ecuador, digging sediment cores out of mangrove swamps to learn about changes in sea level and looking for evidence of human-caused changes in vegetation and agricultural activities.

    My research in Ecuador has led to my interest in taking Sonoma State students down for two week visits, during the January break, over the past three seasons. This class has been extremely rewarding for me and for my students, who generally come home transformed by their experiences. We see a great range of landscapes, from the highest glacier-mantled Andes volcanoes to the lush cloud forests to the upper reaches of the Amazon basin. We meet a great diversity of people, wealthy and cosmopolitan Spanish descendents of the conquistadores to highland Andes farmers and Amazonian Indians. I plan to continue with this class as long as there is interest from the students.