My Research

RakitaI am a bioarchaeologist.  Bioarchaeology is the interdisciplinary study of human remains and their associated funerary treatments. The approach uses methods developed in archaeology, physical anthropology, general anthropology and affiliated fields to help develop a fuller understanding of past human societies.  Typically, bioarchaeologists fall on either the archaeology or the biology side of the bioarchaeology spectrum.  My research tends toward the archaeology side with a greater emphasis on funerary and ritual customs in prehistoric communities.  My primary region of study is the prehistoric American southwest and northern Mexico, though I do have ongoing interest in the Andean region and an emerging focus in historic cemeteries.  While most of my research would be described as “pure” or academic, recently I have been conducting more local, applied research and have contributed to publications for the public.  Being at the University of North Florida has afforded me the opportunity to explore a wide range of research interests, some which continue early themes in my career and others which are new.  My various overlapping research foci include; ancient mortuary practices and the general prehistory of the Casas Grandes culture, archaeological approaches to ritual behavior, the history of bioarchaeology, ground-penetrating radar and historic cemetery studies.  On the “Research Narrative” page I list my publications since my most recent promotion and briefly discuss how they fit into my research agendas.  Of course, not all fit neatly into one focus, and I make note where publications speak to multiple research interests.  All my publications are listed in my Curriculum Vita.

Many of my publications can be found as PDFs here.

I have a record of scholarship that includes:

  • a research agenda centering on the following overlapping themes:
    • Bioarchaeological method and theory
    • Mortuary and ritual behavior
    • The prehistory of the U.S. southwest & northern Mexico
  • a sustained and significant body of published works of high quality including (career totals):
    2 Books/Monographs
    2 Edited Volumes
    1 Reader w/ Peer-Reviewed Introduction
    17 Peer-Reviewed Articles & Chapters
    5 Book Reviews
    30 Reports & Other Professional Publications
    Professional Presentations – 13 Regional
    – 23 National
    – 6 International
    14 Symposia Organized
  • a national and international reputation for excellence in my field as evidenced by:
    • requests to review proposals for the National Science Foundation
    • invitations to serve as a discussant at the Society for American Archaeology meetings
    • invitations to present at international conferences
    • invitations to give scholarly presentations at institutions around the United States
    • requests to review manuscripts submitted to top journals in my field
    • service as an external member on Ph.D. dissertation committees
    • citation of my publications by colleagues in my field