Dr. Sara Becker of UC – Riverside studies the Tiwanaku culture of Lake Titicaca. She specializes in understanding hierarchy and labor patterns via physical activity markers on the bone. She combines modern ethnographic methods with archaeology and biological anthropology to understand ancient cultures.
- What to read to learn more: Stories from the Skeleton by Robert Jurmain
- What she’s reading for work right now:
- The Chumash World at European Contact by Lynn H. Gamble
- Disease and Discrimination: Poverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America by Dale Hutchinson
- What she’s reading for fun: Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt
Extra educational photos
Frost’s Mechanostat (Utah Paradigm)
The above figure illustrates how bone responds to stress. Below a certain threshold of strain, humans will lose bone. In the adapted state, bone mass will remain constant. Once sufficient loads are placed on bone, cells will respond by building bone. If the loads exceed the mechanical limits of the bone, fracture will occur.
If you’d like to learn more about bone modeling and remodeling, I strongly recommend this article by Robling and Turner.
Unilateral asymmetry in arm wrestlers
- Becker, Sara. (2016). Skeletal Evidence of Craft Production from the Ch’iji Jawira Site in Tiwanaku, Bolivia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 9. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.08.017.
- Becker, Sara. (2019). Osteoarthritis, entheses, and long bone cross-sectional geometry in the Andes: Usage, history, and future directions. International Journal of Paleopathology. 10.1016/j.ijpp.2019.08.005.
- Becker, Sara. (2019). Labor across an Occupational and Gendered Taskscape: Bones and Bodies of the Tiwanaku State (A.D. 500–1100). Bioarchaeology International. 3. 118-141. 10.5744/bi.2019.1010.
- Becker, Sara. (2019). Evaluating elbow osteoarthritis within the prehistoric Tiwanaku state using generalized estimating equations (GEE). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 169. 10.1002/ajpa.23806.
- Becker, Sara & Goldstein, Paul. (2017). Evidence of Osteoarthritis in the Tiwanaku Colony, Moquegua, Peru (AD 500-1100). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. 10.1002/oa.2634.
- Becker, Sara. (2017). 4 Community Labor and Laboring Communities within the Tiwanaku State (C.E. 500-1100): Community Labor and Laboring Communities. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association. 28. 38-53. 10.1111/apaa.12087.