|Title:||Assistant Professor of Anthropology|
-- Bioarchaeology, dental anthropology, mortuary analysis
-- Forensic anthropology and forensic taphonomy
-- Prehistoric and Historic Andean
South America; organization of complex societies
-- Health, violence, identity, and ethnogenesis
-- Theory and methods in bioarchaeology
The human skeleton may well be the single most information-dense
source of knowledge about the past. Human biology is a product of our underlying genes, but is actually shaped most directly by
environments, social patterns, and economics. Since its inception in 2003, I
have directed the Lambayeque Valley Biohistory Project, a sustained 30-year,
international, multidisciplinary, and regional field bioarchaeology program on
the desert north coast of
The current 15 year-long research phase involves the study of the late pre-Hispanic period (A.D. 900-1532) and biocultural impacts of Spanish colonialism from A.D. 1532-1750 in Lambayeque (you can learn more here). Our current phase of work form 2009-2011 involves the excavation and analysis of the ruins and burials of the Colonial native town of Eten. This is a particularly special site as we think the people may have "escaped" the many negative cultural and biological effects of European conquest. Parallel projects involve collaborative work with Japanese, Canadian, American, and Peruvian scholars regarding health and genetic structure among Moche and Sicán royal families (see Steve Bourget's weblecture here), excavation and analysis of high-status Middle Sicán funerary contexts with the Museo Nacional Sicán, (the Museum's website here), and human sacrifice and ritual violence (National Geographic clip here)
This project is based in biohistorical approach. We examine a very wide range of data from human skeletal remains, including infection, chronic biological stress, biomechanically-related forms of osteoarthritis, growth and growth retardation, ancient demography, diet, violence, and the reconstruction of genetic interaction patterns. These data are directly integrated with cultural information, often proceeding from symbolically-rich burials, associated archaeological sites, and even historic documents in the attempt to produce a holisitc and humanized understanding of past peoples.
Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, The
Dissertation: Out of
Light Came Darkness: Bioarchaeology of Mortuary Ritual, Health, and
Ethnogenesis in the
Available for download here (24 mb)
M.A., Department of Anthropology, Southern
Thesis: Life and Death at Huaca Sialupe: Mortuary Archaeology of a Middle Sicán Community, AD 900-1150.
B.A., Department of Anthropology,
Major in anthropology and double minor in archaeology and studio art. Advanced Honors Project: The Stone Forge: Reconstructing a 19th Century Ironworks. Senior Thesis in Anthropology: Paleopathology of Treponemal Disease and Syphilis in a Colonial Maya Population.