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Bioarchaeology, biological and evolutionary anthropology, skeletal biology and osteoporosis, health and disease, inequality/structural violence, aging/disability, paleopathology, bioethics.
My research interests are focused broadly upon the age, sex and gender-related changes in bone quantity and quality, particularly the application of biocultural and developmental/life course approaches to the study of bone maintenance and fragility. More recently, I have become particularly interested in the application of research in bone maintenance to dialogues of social identity, embodiment, developmental plasticity, disability, and inequality in bioarchaeology. I have examined age- and growth-related changes in cortical bone microstructure, trabecular architecture, and mineral density in several historic British and Italian archaeological populations, and have examined the long-term effect of growth and reproduction (parity and lactation) on the human and non-human primate maternal skeleton, studying samples from prehistoric Turkey and Japan. I recently completed co-directing the study of archaeological human remains from the medieval site of Villa Magna, Italy, and have a current collaborative bioarchaeological project from the archaeological site of Pava, Italy with colleagues from the University of Pisa. My current research is also invested in bioethics of skeletal biology/bioarchaeology, specifically the practice and ethics of skeletal conservation and repatriation. She currently serves as Special Advisor to the Chancellor and Chair of the UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee, and on the Commission of the American Anthropological Association Executive Board charged to develop a model of standards, guidelines, and policies for the ethical treatment of human remains in anthropological research.
I am interested in the philosophies of teaching, and actively involved in the pedagogical training of current and future college instructors, and have been awarded numerous teaching grants and honors, including the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest campus award for excellence in teaching. I am co-author with (Liz Soluri) of the leading active learning based-lab manual for introductory courses in bioanthropology “Laboratory Manual and Workbook for Biological Anthropology”, 2019, Norton).
I am founding Co-Editor-In-Chief for Bioarchaeology International, and serve on the current editorial board of American Antiquity. I am founder of the Western BIoarchaeology Group (WeBiG).
I received my B.A. and M.Sc from the University of Toronto, and Ph.D from the same institution, working in both the Department of Anthropology and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. I enjoyed the following two years as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University, and subsequently was a faculty member for one year at the University of Toronto before coming to UC Berkeley.
Founding Co-Editor-In-Chief: Bioarchaeology International
Books &Edited Volumes:
*Soluri, K. and S.C. Agarwal (2020). Laboratory Manual and Workbook for Biological Anthropology.. W. W. Norton & Company.
*Agarwal, S.C. and Patrick Beauchesne (eds.) (2018). Children and Childhood in the Past. University of Florida Press.
*Agarwal, S.C. and Julie Wesp (eds.) (2017). Exploring Sex and Gender in Bioarchaeology. University of New Mexico Press.
Soluri, K. and S.C. Agarwal (2016). Engaging with Human Biology and Evolution. W. W. Norton & Company.
Soluri, K. and S.C. Agarwal (2019). Laboratory Manual and Workbook for Biological Anthropology. W. W. Norton & Company.
Agarwal , S.C and Bonnie Glencross (eds). (2011) Social Bioarchaeology, Wiley-Blackwell Press, New York).
Agarwal, S.C., and Stout, S.D. (eds.) (2003). Bone Loss and Osteoporosis: An Anthropological Perspective. Kluwer Plenum Academic Press.
*Trombley,TM, Beauchesne, PD, Agarwal, SC, Kinkopf, K, Goodson, C, Candilio, C, Coppa, A, and M. Rubini. (in press). Growing up at Villamagna: Sex, gender, and stress during growth and development in a medieval Italian community. Bioarchaeology International.
*Trombley, T ,Goodson, C and S.C.Agarwal. (in press). Medieval Mouths in Context: Biocultural considerations for the mouth and the case of late medieval Villamagna. Medieval Archaeology.
*Trombley, T, S.C. Agarwal, and Matias, A. (in review). Behind the veil: An archaeothanatological approach to possible shrouding in a medieval multi-faith cemetery from Santarém, Portugal. Anthropologia Portuguesa
*Kinkopf, K.M., Agarwal, S.C., V. Giuffra, Minozzi, S., Campana, S., Caramella, D., and Riccomi, G. (2022). Contextualizing bilateral asymmetry and gender: A multivariate approach to femoral cross-sectional geometry at rural Medieval Pieve di Pava, Italy American Journal of Biological Anthropology. Am J Biol Anthropol.2023;180:173–195. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24625
*Buikstra, J. E., DeWitte, S. N., Agarwal, S. C., Baker, B. J., Bartelink, E. J. et al. (2022). Twenty-first century bioarchaeology: Taking stock and moving forward. American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 1– 61. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24494
Agarwal, S.C. (2022), What does pandemic response and recovery look like through the lens of anthropogenic violence and inequality?. Economic Anthropology, 9: 158-162. https://doi.org/10.1002/sea2.12238
Agarwal, S.C. and Brenda Baker (2021). From the Foundation to a Vision of the Future: A Note from the Founding Editors. Bioarchaeology International.
Agarwal, S. C. (2021). What is normal bone health? A bioarchaeological perspective on meaningful measures and interpretations of bone strength, loss, and aging. American Journal of Human Biology, e23647. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23647
Kinkopf, K., Agarwal S,C., Goodson, C., Beauchesne, P. Trombley, T.M., Candilio, F., Rubini, M., and A. Coppa. (2020). Economic access influences degenerative spine disease outcomes at rural Late Medieval Villamagna (Lazio, IT). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Early view. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24180
Goren, H.P, S.C. Agarwal, and Patrick Beauchesne (2020). Interpreting mortuary treatment from histological bone diagenesis: A case study from Neolithic Çatalhöyük. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. Early View 14 October 2020
*Trombley, T.M. Trombley, Agarwal, S.C.,. Beauchesne, P.D, Goodson, C., Candilio, F., Coppa, A. and Mauro Rubini (2019). Making sense of medieval mouths: Investigating sex differences of dental pathological lesions in a late medieval Italian community. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 169 (2): 253-269. 28 MARCH 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23821
*Miller M.J., Agarwal S.C., Aristizabal, L, Langebaek Rueda CH. (2018). The daily grind: Sex- and age-related activity patterns inferred from cross-sectional geometry of long bones in a pre-Columbian muisca population from Tibanica, Colombia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 167(2): 311-326. 21 MAY 2018. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23629
*Agarwal, S.C. (2018). Understanding Bone Aging, Loss, and Osteoporosis in the Past. In: Katzenberg, AK and Grauer, A. (Eds) Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton (3rd ed). Wiley-Liss: NY
* Beauchesne, P., and S.C. Agarwal (2018). Finding the Children in Childhood: Interdisciplinarity and Biocultural Approaches. In: Beauchesne, P., and S.C. Agarwal (eds). Children and Childhood in the Past. University of Florida Press.
*Miller M.J., Agarwal S.C., Langebaek Rueda CH. (2018) Dietary Histories: Tracing food consumption practices from childhood through adulthood using stable isotope analysis. In: Beauchesne, P., and S.C. Agarwal (eds). Children and Childhood in the Past. University of Florida Press.
*Beauchesne, B., and S.C. Agarwal. (2017). A Multi-Method Assessment of Bone Maintenance and Loss in an Imperial Roman Population: Implications for Future Studies of Age-related Bone Loss in the Past. American Journal of Physical Anthropology: 5 JUN 2017. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23256
* Baker, B.J., and Agarwal, S.C. (2017). Stronger Together: Advancing a Global Bioarchaeology. Bioarchaeology International. Volume 1, Numbers 1-2: 1–18. DOI: 10.5744/bi.2017.1005
*Agarwal, S.C. (2017). Understanding Sex and Gender-Related Patterns of Bone Loss and Health in the Past: A Case Study from the Neolithic Community of Çatalhöyük. In: Agarwal, S.C and J. Wesp. Exploring Sex and Gender in Bioarchaeology. University of New Mexico Press. pp 165-188.
*Agarwal, S.C (2016) Bone morphologies and histories: Life course approaches in bioarchaeology. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 159: S130–S149
*Agarwal, S.C .and Miller, M. (2016). Nutrition and Bone Loss in Antiquity. In: Julia Lee-Thorp and M. Anne Katzenberg (eds). The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Diet. Oxford University Press: Oxford
*Sabrina C. Agarwal, Patrick Beauchesne, Bonnie Glencross, Clark Spencer Larsen, Lynn Meskell, Carolyn Nakamura, Jessica Pearson, and Joshua Sadvari. (2015). Roles for the sexes: the (bio)archaeology of women and men at Çatalhöyük. In:“Assembling Çatalhöyük”. EAA - Themes In Contemporary Archeology. Ian Hodder, ArkadiuszMarciniak (editors).
*Clark Spencer Larsen, Simon W. Hillson, Başak Boz, Marin A. Pilloud, Joshua W. Sadvari, Sabrina C. Agarwal, Bonnie Glencross, Patrick Beauchesne, Jessica Pearson, Christopher B. Ruff, Evan M. Garofalo, Lori D. Hager, Scott D. Haddow, and Christopher J. Knüsel. (2015)Bioarchaeology of Neolithic Ҫatalhöyük: Lives and Lifestyles of an Early Farming Society in Transition. Journal of World Prehistory (March)
Nelson, D.A., Agarwal, S.C., and Linda Darga (2014). Bone Health From An Evolutionary Perspective (Development in Early Human Populations). In: Michael F. Holick, Jeri Nieves (eds). Nutrition and Bone Health 2nd edition. Springer, New York
*Simon W. Hillson, Clark Spencer Larsen, Başak Boz, Marin A. Pilloud, Joshua W. Sadvari, Sabrina C. Agarwal, Bonnie Glencross, Patrick Beauchesne Jessica Pearson, Christopher B. Ruff, Evan M. Garofalo, Lori Hager, and Scott D. Haddow (2013). In The human remains I: Interpreting community structure, health and diet in Neolithic Çatalhöyük. In Hodder I (ed.): Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: Reports from the 2000-2008 Seasons. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology; London: British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.
Beauchesne, P. and S.C. Agarwal. Age-related cortical bone maintenance and in Imperial Roman population. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. (2014).Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 15–30, January/February 2014. First published(2011) online in Wiley Online Library(wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/oa.1303
Agarwal, S.C (2012). A Bioarchaeology of Social Identity. New Directions in Bioarchaeology Part II. The SAA Archaeological Record. May 2012: 29-31
*Agarwal, S.C (2012) The Past of Sex, Gender, and Health: Bioarchaeology of the Aging Skeleton. American Anthropologist 114(2):322-335.
As researchers become increasingly interested in studying the lives of children in antiquity, this volume argues for the importance of a collaborative biocultural approach. Contributors draw on fields including skeletal biology and physiology, archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, pediatrics, and psychology to show that a diversity of research methods is the best way to illuminate the complexities of childhood.
Social Bioarchaeology introduces the exciting and growing biosocial approach in archaeology that challenges the traditional methods of analyzing and interpreting human skeletal remains.
This volume brings together the latest approaches in bioarchaeology in the study of sex and gender.