Ryan Harrod

Ryan Harrod
Garrett College

Doctor of Philosophy

About

90
Publications
10,549
Reads
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827
Citations
Introduction
I am a bioarchaeologist interested in understanding violence, inequality, and social control in the past.
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
University of Alaska Anchorage
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2013 - May 2018
University of Alaska Anchorage
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2013 - November 2019
University of Alaska Anchorage
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
En los últimos años, el creciente interés por el estudio de los traumatismos asociados a comportamientos violentos en poblaciones antiguas ha generado un cúmulo de información que actualmente permite entender las distintas dinámicas de violencia en el mundo antiguo. Sin embargo, la presencia de un traumatismo en el registro bioarqueológico no neces...
Article
In recent years, the growing interest in the study of trauma associated with violent behaviour in ancient populations has generated a wealth of information that currently allows us to understand the different dynamics of violence in the ancient world. However, the presence of trauma in the bioarchaeological record does not necessarily imply the pre...
Chapter
In The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World, Elaine Scarry famously argued that performances of pain are displays of agency used to construct and maintain social hierarchies. Scarry wrote that pain, as a social force, has “real” meaning for the person experiencing it. Anthropologists, especially bioarchaeologists, have thought extensi...
Article
An ancient feature resembling a shod human footprint was recently discovered adjacent to a buried prehistoric housepit dating to ~1840 cal yr BP at the Swan Point site in central Alaska. Recovery of footprints in this context is rare, prompting us to question if the impression was indeed the result of human activity. We tested if the feature's morp...
Article
The examination of comingled ossuary collections creates unique analytical issues as bones are rarely articulated, requiring that the skeletal elements be examined on an individual basis. A result is that the estimation of crucial demographic information like age at death and sex becomes problematic and attempts to ascertain this information involv...
Chapter
Full-text available
The final chapter explores the theme of the volume and the contributions of the individual chapters to bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. First, a review of the history of the meaning of the word massacre is presented. This is followed by a thoughtful discussion of the contributions of the chapters in this volume towards forming a better und...
Article
For over two decades archaeologists and bioarchaeologists have identified evidence to suggest that there was a system of captivity and subjugation in the American Southwest before the arrival of Europeans. However, to understand the practice of taking captives in the region, we must attempt to determine why people are subjugated and who is at risk...
Article
The analysis of trauma in archaeological sciences requires a background in human osteology, paleopathology, and forensic anthropology, along with an understanding of the biomechanics of skeletal anatomy. This base knowledge is required to identify morphological changes to bone that were the result of an injury and differentiate them from pathologic...
Chapter
The final chapter explores the theme of the volume and the contributions of the individual chapters to bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. First, a review of the history of the meaning of the word massacre is presented. This is followed by a thoughtful discussion of the contributions of the chapters in this volume towards forming a better und...
Chapter
Full-text available
As members of the global public become increasingly concerned about climate change, popular presses promote "scientific" narratives about the success or failure of past societies (e.g., Diamond 2011), human security literature perpetuates a narrative that violence is a "natural" outcome of increased competition in such circumstances (e.g., Barnett...
Chapter
By reflecting on how our own perspectives influence the data we collect and the questions we ask, bioarchaeologists are positioned to move the approach to understanding humans into new areas. In this chapter, we examine social hierarchy at the height of the society identified as the “Chaco Phenomenon” in the San Juan Basin of the American Southwest...
Conference Paper
The construction of sex/gender is deeply rooted in the ways science, more specifically anthropology, has crafted the story. While biological differences exist in all primates, the performance of sex/gender in humans is unique. Our sex and gender identities are socioculturally constructed and historically contingent. Additionally, many of the early...
Chapter
The findings for the human remains support the concerns discussed in Chap. 3 with the concept of peace as used by various archaeologists because it is a relative term that is defined differently across cultures. This chapter will summarize how the human remains recovered from Chaco Canyon and the other Southwest sites help to further our understand...
Chapter
This chapter takes a bioarchaeological approach to understanding the Chaco Phenomenon by assessing changes, shifting patterns of site complexity, and population demography over time and throughout the San Juan Basin. To accomplish this we cannot focus solely on the biological bodies but also understand the archaeological context in which the bodies...
Chapter
This chapter provides an introduction to violence research in the Greater Southwest and briefly describes the discipline of bioarchaeology and why it can provide insight into the nature of Chaco Canyon and the other sites associated with the Chaco Phenomenon. The goals of this study include using bioarchaeological data in conjunction with mortuary...
Chapter
This chapter will define the concepts of peace and violence, deconstructing the notion that violence and its supposed antithesis peace exist in opposition of one another, and provides an explanation of human behavior related to the use or nonuse of violence across time and space. The chapter will explore some of the ways that peace is established a...
Chapter
What were the catalysts for the decline of the Chaco Phenomenon? Was it climatic instability, immigration, cultural and ideological change, or all of the above? This chapter will explore the possible causes behind the eventual reorganization of the Chaco Phenomenon. It will summarize some of the work I have published on with my colleague Debra Mart...
Chapter
The chapter will begin with a discussion of the development of Chaco Canyon. It began between AD 850 and 900 in Chaco Canyon with three large great houses, Pueblo Bonito, Una Vida, and Peñasco Blanco. What is impressive is that this agriculturally based society thrived for over 200 years in the arid desert of New Mexico without a permanent source o...
Chapter
This chapter offers a brief conclusion to the book. An attempt is made to highlight the importance of recognizing the role Chaco Canyon played for the Ancestral Pueblo in the US Southwest and how Pueblo Bonito and to a lesser extent Aztec Ruins were regional centers with some form of elite leadership, which is reflected in the human skeletal remain...
Chapter
This chapter will summarize the data collected on the human skeletal remains looking at evidence of dietary stress, disease, and trauma by site and mortuary context. What do the bodies reveal about the role of Chaco Canyon in the region? The goal was to assess if people were healthy and happy during the Chaco Phenomenon or there were indications of...
Chapter
What role did Chaco play in the US Southwest?
Chapter
What was the world like in the southwestern portion of the United States before Europeans? While this chapter identifies on a number of cultures, the focus will be on the Ancestral Pueblo. Thus, the greatest attention is focused on people living in the Four Corners region of the United States, which is the area where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Ne...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bioarchaeologists and forensic anthropologists strive to develop methods for maximizing the information that they decipher from human skeletal remains and their archaeological context. Traditional methods for recording burial and mortuary sites include 2D photo documentation and in situ illustration and mapping. While valuable, these techniques off...
Chapter
This chapter involves a comparison of skeletal stress markers, violence, and social inequality in two case studies drawn from hierarchically organized, ancestral Puebloan groups in the U.S. Southwest from the 7th to 13th centuries A.D. (Late Pueblo I through the early Pueblo III periods). The first case study involves the remains of two men from th...
Chapter
Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins, and Paquimé represent large, complex, and some suggest sequential sites in the prehistoric Greater Southwest. Chaco Canyon and Paquimé, in particular, were both characterized by architectural complexity, an impressive range of material culture, increasing population size and an influx of migrants during the peak of their...
Book
Taking a bioarchaeological approach, this book examines the Ancestral Pueblo culture living in the Four Corners region of the United States during the late Pueblo I through the end of the Pueblo III period (AD 850-1300). During this time, a vast system of pueblo villages spread throughout the region creating what has been called the Chaco Phenomeno...
Chapter
Aztec Ruins is an important pre-Euro-American site in the U.S. Southwest that came into prominence after the decline of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. A number of individuals interred at the site show evidence of having survived traumatic injuries, which seems to suggest a level of community care. This chapter focuses specifically on a woman who su...
Article
Ancient human remains can be analyzed with an eye toward clarifying the limits of human adaptation to many of life's hardships. Data collected from the remnants of skeletonized bodies provides information on the costs of living under trying times and the pain, suffering, and disability experienced. Focusing on the survivors of stressful conditions...
Article
Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese immigrants came to the United States to construct the transcontinental railroad. Their impact went beyond labor and helped to develop the social and economic landscape of the country through their ingenuity. Archaeological analyses are especially important for understanding the Chinese in historical Ameri...
Article
The bioarchaeological record has an abundance of scientific evidence based on skeletal indicators of trauma to argue for a long history of internal and external group conflict. However, the findings also suggest variability, nuance, and unevenness in the type, use, and meaning of violence across time and space and therefore defy generalizations or...
Chapter
Anthropological approaches to the analysis of the research on climate change and conflict shows that the relationship between these two variables is not necessarily causal. Using data from a number of archaeological and cultural contexts from around the world, we argue that it is crucial to acknowledge that correlation does not equal causation. If...
Chapter
Understanding the reciprocal relationship between humans and their environment is critical for being able to offer alternatives to the assumption that climate change and global warming will bring about increased levels of aggression and violence. Predicting what humans will do in a wide range of environments practicing different subsistence activit...
Article
Full-text available
In October 1900, Edwin and William Kiel were killed outside of Nevada’s oldest standing structure in North Las Vegas. Since their death, the Kiel brothers have been analysed by bioarchaeologists and forensic experts. Their ranch, now a historic site, remains the property of the city of North Las Vegas and is a contested space which has seen little...
Chapter
Full-text available
Traumatic injuries found on human skeletal remains, whether recently deceased or from long ago, are a direct source of evidence for anthropologists to generate information concerning the nature of violent human interactions among victims, witnesses, and aggressors. In this chapter, we collectively engage how ballistic trauma can be interpreted to s...
Chapter
As anthropologists, we are concerned with the way climate change is being linked to violence. Assumptions are being made that groups in particularly hard-hit areas will likely turn to violence when climate changes limit their livelihood and resources. Bioarchaeological approaches (which add time depth to our understanding of how humans coped with d...
Chapter
This chapter provides a review of some of the concepts behind the phrase “climate change.” Recognizing the limitations of the definition and estimation of climate, climate change is typically associated with the notion of global warming. This has become shorthand for the recent and future changes in the climate that are resulting in higher average...
Chapter
There are case studies from places such as China, the Canary Islands, Europe, and Southern California that appear to show increased levels of violence in the form of intergroup conflict, warfare, and, in extreme cases, cannibalism and genocide. These are explored in detail to demonstrate that even though there appears to have been an increase in th...
Chapter
A case study for one region of the USA is provided. The Southwest (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico) is a region defined by marginality for human habitation due to high- and low-altitude deserts, droughts, unpredictable rainfall, and a short growing season for crops. Yet, it was and still is home to many indigenous groups. This brief overvie...
Chapter
Analysis of individual skeletal remains can reveal much about that individual’s biocultural life history, while the context of the burial can reveal how the living dealt with the dead. When bioarchaeologists have access to larger collections of human remains that represent a group that is part of a culturally distinctive community, then a populatio...
Chapter
Techniques for the analysis of bone and teeth that get below the anatomical surface to utilize preserved collagen and apatite have become central to understanding aspects of ancestry, kinship, health, diet, disease, growth, and development for ancient and historic groups. Ethical issues abound in this area because it entails genetic and biomedical...
Chapter
This chapter advocates for the development of an ethos (worldview) for bioarchaeologists that embraces an engagement at every level with the larger context within which the human remains and artifacts are connected. This includes descendant populations, local communities, county, state and national legislation, government and local statutes, and re...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the reader to the discipline and practice of modern bioarchaeology. Bioarchaeology is the study of ancient and historic human remains in a richly configured context. Situated within the parent discipline of anthropology, bioarchaeology shares the major goal of anthropology—to explain human behavior. Bioarchaeology is inheren...
Chapter
While not covering every aspect of bioarchaeology, this chapter presents a broad overview of the possibilities within the field for answering important questions about the human condition, for engaging with people outside of academia, for developing an ethos (and set of ethical protocols) that are not shaped solely by laws and public perceptions, a...
Chapter
Bioarchaeology projects need to consider a full range of issues involved in carrying out a project. The legal aspects need to be attended to prior to designing the research to see if there are any caveats or conditions under which some research might be deemed unacceptable (such as destructive analytical techniques). Tribal authorities should be co...
Chapter
There are many methods for the analysis of human remains that are regularly used by bioarchaeologists and forensic anthropologists. Standard analytical procedures involve the assignment of age at death and sex, the diagnosis of diseases, the reconstruction of height and body robusticity, and the determination of antemortem (premortem) and perimorte...
Chapter
Viewing the body in ways that go beyond age, sex, stature, and presence or absence of nutritional deficiencies, disease, and trauma requires researcher to consider the life history of the individual. It is critical for researchers to remember that individuals assumed multiple identities throughout their lifetime and that they lived in dynamic and r...
Chapter
Bioarchaeologists must have training and develop expertise in excavation of human remains. This includes understanding as much as possible the environmental, biological, and cultural factors that affect the remains from around the time of death through to recovery and analysis. Ideally, after this long and complex process, the remains are properly...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the mortuary component in bioarchaeological research. Bioarchaeologists who incorporate mortuary archaeology into their analyses are able to broaden their interpretations. The practice of bioarchaeology remedies the decoupling of biological remains from their archaeological (and cultural) context, but it also means that bioarch...
Article
This article identifies activity-related changes to, traumatic injuries on, and pathological conditions of the human remains of the Chinese immigrants from Carlin, Nevada, who were interred between 1885 and 1923. Chinese males came to the Americas to work as railroad laborers and miners, and when the railroad was completed many went home, but some...
Book
Full-text available
Human violence is an inescapable aspect of our society and culture. As the archaeological record clearly shows, this has always been true. What is its origin? What role does it play in shaping our behavior? How do ritual acts and cultural sanctions make violence acceptable? These and other questions are addressed by the contributors to The Bioarcha...
Chapter
Although finding evidence of healed trauma in archaeological populations is fairly straightforward, the interpretation of that evidence is less so. Ryan P. Harrod, Pierre Liénard, and Debra L. Martin gathered data on healed injury among an extant population of Kenyan pastoralists, the Turkana. Their study documents cases of healed trauma resulting...
Chapter
The introduction by Martin, Harrod, and Pérez provides an overview of the methods and theories used in bioarchaeological studies. The biological and cultural signatures of violence are reviewed. A synopsis of each chapter is provided that highlights the ways that violence is part of everyday life and its functions within the societies. Violence in...
Chapter
This concluding chapter by Ryan P. Harrod, Debra L. Martin, and Ventura R. Pérez provides an overview of some of the major findings regarding small-scale conflicts, warfare, and ritualized violence in ancient populations. There is a hope that readers might start to make connections between violence enacted in the past and violence as we see it enac...
Article
The use of violence as a means of social control among higher status members of the Ancestral Pueblo is explored by using data derived from the burials and the burial context of several sites between AD 850 and 1300. High-status burials, while relatively rare in the archeological record, are of interest because of the role the individuals are assum...
Article
Increasing violence and inter-group conflict in the American Southwest is prevalent into the 13th and 14th centuries AD. In the northern Mogollon region during this time period, the site of Grasshopper Pueblo experienced a shift in social organization as population movements occurred in response to regional stressors. The skeletal remains of 187 ad...
Article
This project focuses on whether determination of physical differences among closely affiliated Native American populations inhabiting the southern Plateau is possible. The study includes 318 individuals and approximately 100 recorded measurements of the cranium, humerus, femur, and tibia of each individual. The compiled measurements were evaluated...
Article
Full-text available
The study of violence is generally androcentric in its focus, with emphasis on men and their pursuit of resources, power, and prestige. Neglected is the role and motivations of the women in violence, and this is especially true in raiding. With the analysis of over sixty Ancestral Pueblo human remains from La Plata Valley as a case study, this stud...

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