Research Projects

This is a picture of a microscope.

Constructing Childhood in the Ancient Andes

In this project, bioarchaeological and biogeochemical data from
archaeological human remains at Tiwanaku-affiliated sites in the
Bolivian Lake Titicaca Basin heartland and the Moquegua Valley
hinterland of southern Peru will be used to address questions
regarding the complex constructions of several intersecting
social identities.

photo of altar at Tiwanaku

Ancient Andean Paleodiet and Paleomobility

The Ancient Andean Paleodiet and Paleomobility project
examines lived experiences, particularly migration and
dietary choices, in what are now Peru, Bolivia, Chile and
Argentina. Knudson uses isotopic values in archaeological
human tooth enamel and bone to understand geographic
origins and diet throughout an individual’s life.

photo of TB stain

Ancient Tuberculosis in the Americas

This research addresses the issue of tuberculosis evolution
in the Americas through the study of skeletal collections
from throughout the Western Hemisphere, including those held
at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural
History (NMNH). 
photo of Egyptian hieroglyphs

Bioarchaeology of Abydos, Egypt

The Abydos bioarchaeological collection represents nearly every period in the history of the site, from the First Dynasty to late
antiquity. The Abydos collection is, therefore, an unparalleled resource for researching the population of one of Egypt’s most important ancient places.
photo of ballcourt at Copan

Bioarchaeology of Copán, Honduras

This project focuses on the life histories and population
biology of individuals interred within the Copán Pocket during
the first millennium after Christ.

photo of students working in the field at Kampsville, Illinois

Bioarchaeology of the Lower Illinois River Valley

This project currently focuses on establishing burial programs
and inferring ritual liturgies at the archaeological sites at 
the base of the lower Illinois River valley.

photo of Peruvian peaks and valley

Bioarchaeology of the Osmore Valley, Peru

This project focuses upon the social and biological dimensions
of human change across time and through space. The context
is the Osmore River valley of southern Perú.

Gobero Archaeological Project logo

Gobero Archaeological Project

This research focuses on a series of Early and Middle Holocene
cemeteries (circa 10,000-5000 years ago) from the southern
Sahara Desert (Niger) where a unique record of human life and
death was preserved. The project combines ongoing fieldwork
with extensive archaeological and bioarcheological lab analyses.

This is a photo of researchers in the W.M. Keck Foundation Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry

Isotopic Taphonomy of Human Remains

In addition to providing forensic anthropologists with a better understanding of the isotopic changes that may or may not
occur during decomposition, this project will also provide
useful information for bioarchaeologists and biogeochemists.