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Anthropology|Department of

Melissa Murphy

Assistant Professor

B.A. 1994, Haverford College
Ph.D. 2004, University of Pennsylvania

mmurph20@uwyo.edu • (307) 766-6266 • Anthropology 208

 

Melissa Scott Murphy joined the Department in the fall of 2008. She is a biological anthropologist and bioarchaeologist who is committed to multidisciplinary approaches within anthropology. Although the majority of her research has been in Peru, she has also worked in France, Israel, and Kazakhstan. Murphy directed the bioarchaeological investigations of the human remains from the cemetery of Puruchuco-Huaquerones, located on the central coast of Peru (circa A.D. 1470-1550), with a specific focus on the paleodemography, health, and mortuary contexts of the people from this community. She is currently analyzing a large sample of osteological collections from the Rimac Valley on the central coast of Peru and participating in bioarchaeological research at Magdalena de Cao Viejo, an early Colonial Period church complex and town in the Chicama Valley on the north coast of Peru. She is also developing a new regional focus in the Cajamarca region of the northern highlands of Peru, with an interest in the development of complexity and the effects of different forms of colonialism (Wari, Inca, Spanish) in this region.


As an educator, Murphy strives to make anthropology germane to both majors and non-majors and she integrates the other subfields of anthropology into her courses as much as possible. She teaches classes in Human Osteology, Bioarchaeology, Forensic Anthropology, and the Introduction to Biological Anthropology for graduate students.

Courses Taught:

ANTH 4210/5210
Human Osteology
ANTH 4230/5230 Forensic Anthropology
ANTH 4240/5240 Forensic Anthropology Lab
ANTH 4255/5255 Bioarchaeology
ANTH 4260/5260 Anthropology of Food, Culture, and Nutrition            
ANTH 5020 Biological Anthropology

Recent Publications

(2010) Murphy, M.S., C. Gaither, E. Goycochea, J. Verano, G. Cock. 2010 Violence and weapon-related trauma at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142 (4): 636-650 pdf

(2011) Murphy, M.S. and M.F. Boza. A bioarchaeological study of coca leaf chewing at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru. To be published in Andean Past 10.

(2011) Liebmann, Matthew L. and Melissa S. Murphy (editors), Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas. Santa Fe: SAR Press.

(2011) Liebmann, M. and M.S. Murphy. Rethinking the Archaeology of 'Rebels, Backsliders, and Idolaters' In Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas. Santa Fe: SAR Press.

(2011) Murphy, M.S. Elena Goyacochea, and Guillermo Cock. Persistence, resistance and accommodation at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru. In Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas. Santa Fe: SAR Press.

(2012) Gaither, C., M.S. Murphy. Consequences of Conquest?  Subadult trauma at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(2): 467-478.

(2012) Murphy, M.S. and M.F. Boza. A bioarchaeological study of coca leaf chewing Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru. Andean Past, 10:171-193.

(2013) Williams, J.S. and M.S. Murphy. Living and Dying as Subjects of the Inca Empire: Diet and Health at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 32: 165-179.

(2014) Murphy, M.S., B. Spatola, R. Weathermon. Allies today, enemies tomorrow. A comparative analysis of perimortem injuries along the biomechanical continuum. Bioarchaeology and Forensic Case Studies of Sectarian Violence, Revolts, and Small-Scale Warfare: Reconstructing and Explaining Complex Human Behavior, edited by D. Martin and C. Anderson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Research Interests:

Bioarchaeology; Andean archaeology; historical bioarchaeology; contact, conquest, and colonialism; paleopathology; paleodemography; mortuary practices anthropology of death and dying

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