Ryan Harrod

Dr. Harrod teaching graduate students with cast skulls
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology & Geography
BMH 221

(907) 786-4989


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2013


My area of specialization is biological anthropology. Within this broad subdiscipline my research and expertise is in bioarchaeology, paleopathology and forensic anthropology. Working primarily with ancient and historic human remains, I am most interested in questions having to do with identity, health and disease, conflict and violence, social inequality, ethics, and repatriation. My recent projects have focused on the regional and temporal analysis of signatures of health, nutrition, and conflict among Native American populations throughout the western region of the United States. Other projects include the identification of social inequality and violence among a historical group of immigrant Chinese in the U.S. and the analysis of trauma data collected from an extant populations. My dissertation utilized data collected from burials from the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest to look at the ways that violence was used as a strategy for social control necessary in marginal environments with shrinking resources in the region prior to European contact. The significance of this research is that it further develops an understanding of bioarchaeological research on social inequality as it is reflected in the presence of non-lethal trauma, activity-related changes to the skeleton, and pathological conditions. I have co-authored and co-edited several books including the: The Bioarchaeology of Climate Change and Violence (co-authored with Debra Martin) Springer (2014), Bioarchaeology: an integrated approach to working with human remains (co-authored with Debra Martin and Ventura Perez) Springer (2013), The Bioarchaeology of Violence (co-edited with Debra Martin and Ventura Perez) University Press of Florida (2012).  I am also on the editorial board for Springer’s Bioarchaeology and Social Theory Series and working on a single authored book based on my dissertation research.

Research Interests

  • Biological anthropology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Paleopathology
  • Stress
  • Trauma analysis
  • Violence
  • Inequality
  • U.S. Southwest
  • Great Basin
  • Alaska


Debra L. Martin and Ryan P. Harrod. 2014. Bioarchaeological Contributions to the Study of Violence. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156(S59):116-145.

John J. Crandall and Ryan P. Harrod. 2014. Ghostly Gunslingers: The postmortem lives of the Kiel brothers, Nevada's first frontiersmen.  Cambridge Archaeological Journal 24(3):487-497.

Ryan P. Harrod and Debra L. Martin. 2014. Bioarchaeology of Climate Change and Violence: Ethical considerations. Springer, Springers Briefs in Anthropology: Anthropology and Ethics. New York: Springer.

Ryan P. Harrod and Debra L. Martin. 2014. Signatures of Captivity and Subordination on Skeletonized Human Remains: A bioarchaeological case study from the ancient Southwest. In: Bioarchaeological and Forensic Perspectives on Violence: How violent death is interpreted from skeletal remains. Edited by Debra L. Martin and Cheryl P. Anderson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 103-119.

Ryan P. Harrod, Jennifer L. Thompson, and Debra L. Martin. 2013. Hard Labor and Hostile Encounters: What human remains reveal about institutional violence and Chinese immigrants living in Carlin, Nevada (1885-1923). Historical Archaeology 46(4):85-111.

Debra L. Martin, Ryan P. Harrod, and Ventura R. Pérez. 2013. Bioarchaeology: An Intergrated Approach to Working with Human Remains. Springer, Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory and Technique. New York: Springer.

Debra L. Martin, Ryan P. Harrod, and Ventura R. Pérez (editors). 2013. The Bioarchaeology of Violence. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Ryan P. Harrod. 2012. Centers of Control: Revealing Elites Among the Ancestral Pueblo During the "Chaco Phenomenon." International Journal of Paleopathology 2(2-3): 123-35.

Ryan P. Harrod. 2012. Ethnobioarchaeology. New Directions in Bioarchaeology, Special Forum. The SAA Archaeological Record 12(2): 32-4.

Ryan P. Harrod. 2011. Phylogeny of the Southern Plateau: An Osteometric Evaluation of Inter-Tribal Relations. Journal of Comparative Human Biology HOMO 62(3): 184-201.

Debra L. Martin, Ryan P. Harrod, and Misty Fields. 2010. Beaten Down and Worked to the Bone: Bioarcaheological investigations of women and violence in the Ancient Southwest. Landscapes of  Violence, 1 (1):Article 3.