Faculty Bio

Sara Becker

Sara K. Becker, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Behavioral Science/Anthropology


  • B.A., Arizona State University
  • M.A., California State University Los
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Introduction to Physical Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Food and Culture
  • Forensic Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology
  • Prehistoric labor in emerging complex societies in South America
  • Traditional labor practices among the modern Aymara people of highland Bolivia
  • Stress, health, and disease in precontact North and South American native groups


  • National Science Foundation Young Researcher Travel Award and Runner-Up for Best Paper in the Graduate Student category, International Conference on Advances in Interdisciplinary Statistics and Combinatorics, 2012
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Office of Undergraduate Research, Graduate Mentor Award, 2010
  • National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2009-2010
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Off-Campus Dissertation Research Fellowship and Timothy P. Mooney Fellowship, 2008

Recent Publications

  • Becker, S.K. (2013) Labor and the Rise of the Tiwanaku State (AD 500-1100): A Bioarchaeological Study of Activity Patterns. PhD dissertation. Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Becker, S.K., Alconini, S., and Knudson, K.J. (2013) Trophy Head Taking among the Tiwanaku, Charazani, Bolivia. Manuscript in preparation for Journal of Archaeological Research.
  • Becker, S.K. (2013) Health Consequences of Contact on Two Seventeenth Century Native Groups from the Mid-Atlantic Region of Maryland. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 17:3.
  • Becker, S.K. (2011) Laborers among the Tiwanaku/Trabajadores entre el Tiwanaku. Jatha FundaciĆ³n Cultural: Creando Puentes de Desarrollo.