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Department of Anthropology

Melissa Murphy
Associate Professor

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

mmurph20@uwyo.edu •  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 1100

  

Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTH 4140

Archaeological Field School in Peru

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

(2017) Murphy, M.S. and H. Klaus (editors). 2017. Colonized Bodies, Lives Transformed. Towards a Global Bioarchaeology of Contact and Colonialism. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

(2017) Murphy, M.S. and H. Klaus. Colonized bodies, colonizing bodies. New perspectives on the bioarchaeology of contact, conquest, and colonialism. Colonized Bodies, Lives Transformed. Towards a Global Bioarchaeology of Contact and Colonialism, edited by M.S. Murphy and H. Klaus. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

(2017) Murphy, M.S., Boza, M.F. and C. Gaither. Exhuming differences and continuities: The interpretation of shifting and aberrant mortuary patterns after contact and colonialism. Colonized Bodies, Lives Transformed. Towards a Global Bioarchaeology of Contact and Colonialism, edited by M.S. Murphy and H. Klaus. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

(2017)    Ortiz, A., M.S. Murphy, J. Toohey, and C. Gaither. Hybridity? Change? Continuity? Survival? A study of biodistance and identity of colonial burials from Magdalena de Cao Viejo, Chicama Valley, Peru. Colonized Bodies, Lives Transformed. Towards a Global Bioarchaeology of Contact and Colonialism, edited by M.S. Murphy and H. Klaus. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

(2016) Toohey, J., B. Geddes, B., M.S. Murphy, C. Pereyra Iturry, and J. Bouroncle Castro. 2016. Theorizing Residential Burial: An Understudied Mortuary Treatment in the Central Andes. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 43:29-38.

(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.

(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.

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

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

(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.

(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) 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) 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.

(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

Research Interests:

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

Melissa Murphy

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