Research description: I’m an anthropological bioarchaeologist who examines the health impact of ancient imperialism, colonialism, and state decline. I analyze mummies and skeletons from archaeological contexts in the Peruvian Andes to investigate how ancient imperial policies and practices structure health status, exposure to violence, and lived experience of ruling and subject peoples. Generally speaking, my research interests include paleopathology, violence-related trauma, the use of the body and body parts in rituals, and bioarchaeological perspectives on embodiment. More specifically, I conduct research on what I call a “bioarchaeology of imperialism”, which aims to elucidate the biocultural impact of archaic forms of imperialism on community health and individual lifeways. My ongoing studies in the Andes examine how Wari imperial structures (AD 600 – 1000) affected, and were affected by, heartland and southern hinterland groups. Among these Wari-affiliated communities, I am documenting such things as mortuary practices, disease rates, dietary practices, migration patterns, genetic profiles as viewed through ancient mtDNA, body modification, frequencies of trauma, and specific kinds of culturally mediated violence (e.g., ritual fighting, corporeal punishment, domestic violence). My current, NSF-funded research now examines the decline of the Wari Empire, including possible explanations for Wari decline, as well as the health effects of that collapse.