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Anna Whittemore

Ph.D. Student in Anthropology


Anna Whittemore is a PhD student in the department of Anthropology. She completed her B.A. with Highest Honors in Anthropology in Spring 2019 at Vanderbilt University in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Anna's research focuses on the bioarchaeology of the Andes, specifically within the formation of the Inka empire, where colonization and contact between disparate subject political bodies produced migrant and multiethnic populations across what is now Peru. In this context, she addresses questions about the life experiences of migrants in the ancient world by employing a bioarchaeological approach to the study of imperialism. Anna seeks to answer anthropological questions about the roles of agency, choice, and political hegemony in causing patterned migrations of people, and uses a bottom-up, individual life history approach to understand how individual bodies are shaped by political bodies such as states and empires. Her research methods emphasize the importance of stable isotopes for establishing the presence of non-locals in the bioarchaeological record, and use this information in conjunction with gross morphological assessment of sex, age, trauma, pathological lesions, dental health, and body modification. 


Bioarchaeology, Andes, Inca imperialism, migration, stable isotopes


  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology Program