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 Angeles
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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

Research Interests

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


  • Faculty Development Committee (FDC) Travel Award at York College, 2014
  • Manning Dissertation Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Anthropology at UNC Chapel Hill, 2013
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) 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 (NSFDDIG), 2009-2010

Recent Publications

  • Becker, S.K., Alconini, S. (n.d.) Head Extraction, Inter-Regional Exchange, and Political Strategies of Control at the Wata Wata Site, Kallawaya Territory, Bolivia during the Late Formative to Tiwanaku Period Transition (AD 200-800). Latin American Antiquity, in press.
  • Alconini, S., Becker, S.K. (n.d.) Sacrificio, Decapitación, y Remoción Ocular: Estrategias Tiwanaku de Control Político y Religioso en los Valles Orientales. In: Tiahuanaco 1903 - La Paz 2013: 110 Años de Colaboraciones Arqueológicas Francoamericanas. Lima, Peru: IFEA, in press.
  • 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(4):713-730.http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10761-013-0240-3
  • Blom, D.E. and Becker, S.K. (n.d.) Skeletal Remains from the Taraco Archaeological Project, Chiripa, Bolivia. Chapter in preparation for an edited volume on the Taraco Peninsula Archaeological Project (TAP). Hastorf, C.A. and Steadman, L., eds. In preparation.