Welcome to the Bioarchaeology and Biogeochemistry Lab

Directed by Dr. Danielle Kurin, the Phillip Lee Walker Bioarchaeology and Biogeochemistry Lab is dedicated to the analysis of human remains from archaeological, historic, and forensic contexts primarily in North and South America.  We employ a multi-disciplinary, social bioarchaeological approach to inform on the bodily impacts of calamities and hardships. In particular, group members investigate how individuals, segments of society, and whole populations are often variably impacted –and recover from—tumultuous phenomena such as state collapse and environmental degradation.

Much of our work investigates themes related to skeletal trauma and violence, the role of body modification in identity formation, emic perspectives on health and therapeutic innovation, the emanation of social disparities in non-state societies, and signatures of structural violence in the bioarchaeological record. To address these issues, we employ diverse methods which include skeletal and mortuary analysis, stable and radiogenic isotope testing, compositional elemental analysis, and digital morphometrics.

Lab members also conduct bioarchaeological, ethnohistoric, and ethno-bioarchaeological research at our Field Station in the south-central Peruvian Andes.

Support Us!

Consultations: Call us at 805-893-4280

Visit Us: HSSB 1002

DIRECTIONS & MAP TO HSSB/BABL FROM THE 101 FREEWAY: Exit the 101 freeway at the Route 217 ( Airport / UCSB) off-ramp (~8 miles north of Sta Barbara) and proceed through the Henley Gate at the east campus entrance. Veer right onto Mesa Road and proceed ahead to the third traffic signal, Ocean Rd. Turn left onto Ocean Rd and continue past the Rec Center. At the bus loop, Ocean Road will veer to the right. Stay on Ocean Rd until you reach the stoplight at the intersection of Ocean and El Colegio Road.   Make a left on El Colegio Rd to park in Lot 27; the entrance will be 1/8 mile on your right.  To park in Lot 22, continue on Ocean road through the El Colegio Rd intersection; the entrance to the parking garage will be about 1/4 mile ahead on the left.  Park in either visitor lot and purchase a permit to be displayed in your vehicle while on-campus.  To get to HSSB/Anthropology Department from the parking lots: Follow the sidewalk; keep the Thunderdome on your right, HSSB will be directly in front of you, room 2001 is on the second floor. Signs and student docents will be waiting to greet and direct you.

Bioarchaeological Excavations in Andahuaylas

Bioarchaeological Excavations in Andahuaylas


Undergrads in Forensic Anthropology (Anth180) evaluate a mock crime scene at UCSB . 

Healed cranial trauma

Antemortem trauma on a Chanka skull (AD 1150-1250)


Sondor Archaeological Site

JG Bones

Jaime Gilligan collects data on precolombian skeletal remains

Mummy Study

Archaeologist Enmanuel Gomez Choque carefully positions a Chanka mummy


Excavating a burial context in Andahuaylas

Kassie Collecting Data at the Peru Field Research Station

Kassie Sugimoto collecting data at the Field Research Station


UCSB Represents! Undergrads participate in Western Bioarchaeology Conference at Arizona State University

The December 17th talk, "Secrets from the Dead in Ancient Peru," coincides with the new exhibit: Mummies: New Secrets form the Tombs

Kurin investigates the role of trauma, nutrition, and disease in an innovative new edited volume

Work on artesianal salt extraction features in Great Inka Road exhibit at the Smithsonian

Prof. Kurin joins world renown scholars to celebrate exhibit opening at the National Museum of the American Indian

Bioarchaeology and Biogeochemistry Lab
Department of Anthropology
1002 Humanities and Social Sciences Bldg.
University of California,
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3210

Dr. Danielle Kurin
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
HSSB 1002A

Ofc: (805) 893-4280
Fax: (805) 893-8707