While biological anthropology is a broad field, our program focuses on bioarchaeology, the study of human remains in their specific social and historical contexts. Past bodies are approached as biocultural phenomena that are formed and transformed across both history and the individual life course. The physical and social landscape, cultural setting, and historic time within which people have negotiated daily life are all taken into account. Thus, human remains are not studied in isolation, but always in relation to other archaeological materials and records of the past.
In the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, we offer undergraduate and doctoral training in bioarchaeology, including courses in human osteology, mortuary and death studies, and theories of embodiment and materiality.
Our faculty and students are engaged in studies of medieval Bohemia, colonial Guatemala, and several sites in nineteenth-century America, including New York City, Arkansas, and Utah. Their research interests include identity and personhood, political and gender violence, health and social inequality, migration, childhood and the life course, religion, historical memory, and the symbolic and political manipulation of dead bodies.