Research

I have several projects that I am writing up for publication. My research interests include the bioarchaeology of death and burial, mummies, epidemic disease in the past, the archaeology of the Americas (specifically osteobiographies using osteology, musculoskeletal anatomy and grave goods), gender, biomolecular archaeology, the Columbian Exchange, and museum studies focusing on collections management and display of human remains, repatriation and indigenous visibility.

Current projects-message me if you want more info!

Evaluation and documentation of Peruvian mummy bundles in collections outside of South America

Death and dying in the Inka Period (1400AD-1532AD): epidemic disease

Castration in the archaeological record

Gender and the archaeology of death

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Publications-

Forthcoming 2017.  Biers, T., Cock-Carrasco, G.A. Bridging the Gap between Elite and Non-elite: identifying the artisan in the archaeological record. In Technology and the Making of Andean Societies. Vol. 2. Cooperation and power in the organsiation of production. Editor W. Sillar. University College London UCL Press, London.

2017 February.   Thomas, N.J., Biers, T., Cadwallader, L.C., Nuku, M., and Salmond, A.  The Provenance, date and significance of a Cook-voyage Polynesian sculpture. Antiquity.  Issue 355. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2016.221

2015 November. Biers, T. and Harknett, SJ. Separating Artefact from Fiction: using museum education and outreach to increase archaeology’s relevance and impact in society. Archaeological Review from Cambridge. Archaeology: Myths within and without. Vol. 30. 2. http://www.societies.cam.ac.uk/arc/issues/issue30-2.html

Past projects & Scientific reports-

Bioarchaeology of labour populations under Inka imperialism. PhD research accepted for publication: Bridging the Gap between Elite and Non-elite: identifying the artisan in the archaeological record. In Technology and the Making of Andean Societies. Vol. 2. Cooperation and power in the organsiation of production. Editor W. Sillar. University College London UCL Press, London.

Isotopic analysis of dental and bone tissues on ancient human remains from Dos Cabezas, Peru. To be published in upcoming book by Cordy-Collins and C.S. Merbs, Academic Press 2017.

Isotopic analysis of human and faunal dental/bone tissues for Project Early Occupation of Piauí (Brazil). In collaboration with the Fundação Museu do Homem Amaricano (Brazil); Unidade de Arqueologia – Universidade Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (VialReal, Portugal), and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (Cambridge, UK). Funding, Arqueologia Pre-historica e Arte Rupestre do IPT\UTAD – Erasmus Mundus.

Isotopic analysis of wood cellulose for object ‘D 1914.34’, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), University of Cambridge. Collaborator on forthcoming title (2016) Artefacts of Encounter: Pacific Voyages and Museums Histories. Edited by N. J. Thomas. University of Otago Press, New Zealand. In association with Dr. Lauren Cadwallader, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (Cambridge, UK). Funding, Pacific Presences Project, ERC 2013-2018

 I have technological proficiency in the following areas for research:

  • Osteological and paleopathological analyses of human and mummified remains, faunal remains, wet specimens human remains
  • Digital Data Capture including XRF, SEM, CT scanning and radiography, 3D scanning
  • Biomolecular Analyses in Archaeology (dental calculus, stable isotope analysis)
  • MS Office computing Systems incl. Access, IBM SPSS statistical software, Adobe Photoshop, WebCT, Blackboard, FileMaker Pro, Arc-GIS
  • Conservation and preparation of objects for preservation and exhibition
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