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Research Projects

Violence and Power in the Past

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This ongoing project explores evidence for violence and trauma in human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. Far from being an aberration or anomaly, violence is used as a tool of power by governments and rulers across time and space. When we look at violence as an act that makes use of cultural ideas about right and wrong, insiders and outsiders, we can better understand how types and levels of violence are more or less socially acceptable based on factors such as who is involved and when and where the violence takes place.

This project builds on my work that explores human sacrifice in ancient Egypt. I argue that we must be careful not to impose our own modern ideas of what violence means, how it works, and even what violence is, onto cultures of the past. 

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Paleo-oncology Research Organization (PRO)

As Executive Director and co-founder of the Paleo-oncology Research Organization, I work regularly with other scholars and specialists in studying the history and evolution of cancer in ancient human remains. Through the  implementation of standards for identifying and analyzing neoplastic disease, public programming, conference workshops, and the publication of a special journal issue dedicated to paleo-oncology, PRO supports a long-time view of neoplastic diseases. By learning more about the history and etiologies of different cancers, we can get a better understanding of how to identify, treat, and prevent cancer in the future.

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Player Perceptions of Gender in Assassin's Creed

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My newest project explores depictions and representation of gender in the Assassin's Creed video games. Using data gathered from online chat forums as well as an anonymous survey, I'm trying to understand how players react to and interpret representations of gender and sexuality in the ancient world based on representations in these games.

This study is ongoing, and you can take the survey here!

Ongoing Archaeological Projects

Deir el Bahri and Asasif (Egypt)

Since 2017, I have been the Lead Osteologist for the Polish Egyptian Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari and the Asasif Project. I analyze the human remains that are found in the Temple and nearby tombs to find basic information about who was buried here, and to understand the effects of 19th and 20th century archaeological practices on the preservation and fragmentation of the human remains from these sites.

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Khirbet al-Mukhayyat Archaeological Project (Jordan)

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In 2021, I joined the Khirbet al-Mukhayyat Archaeological Project (KMAP) to analyze human remains that were found in caves. This ongoing project explores who was buried in the caves, when, and why.

This project falls under the direction of the Town of Nebo Archaeological Project, a multi-disciplinary research project investigating trade, religion, and landscape at Khirbet al-Mukhayyat, Jordan.

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