Clark Larsen

Distinguished Professor and Chair of Anthropology
Adjunct / Courtesy Appointment

My primary interest is in the history of the human condition, viewed from the perspective of health, quality of life, adaptation, and lifestyle during the last 10,000 years of human evolution. I have spent most of my professional career directing the La Florida Bioarchaeology Project, involving the collaboration of scientists from the United States and elsewhere. The research focuses on the consequences of major adaptive shifts in coastal and terrestrial settings on the southeastern U.S. Atlantic coast. Methods of analysis include biomechanics, paleopathology, dietary reconstruction (stable isotope analysis, tooth microwear). A popular account of the project is presented in Skeletons in our Closet: Revealing our Past Through Bioarchaeology (Princeton University Press, 2000) and research results in Bioarchaeology of Spanish Florida: The Impact of Colonialism (University Press of Florida, 2001). In collaboration with Richard Steckel and Paul Sciulli, I co-direct the Global History of Health Project, involving the collaboration of scientists and study of skeletons from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.  Our current focus is Europe, where we are developing a database with physical anthropologists across the continent.   Preliminary results on the study of 18,000 skeletons reveals significant changes in health and lifestyle.  Since 2002, I have been collaborating with Simon Hillson (University College London) on the study of human remains from Çatalhöyük, Turkey.  This enormous Neolithic site provides an ideal opportunity to test hypotheses about the impact of urbanization and increased commitment to agriculture on health and quality of life.  The project is a part of a massive international research program directed by Ian Hodder (Stanford University).

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Department of Anthropology
The Ohio State University
4034 Smith Laboratory
174 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210