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Bethany Turner-Livermore

Associate Professor    

Ph.D., Emory University, 2008


Dr. Turner joined the anthropology department at Georgia State University in 2008 after finishing her Ph.D. in anthropology, where her dissertation research centered on isotopic and osteological analyses of the skeletal population from Machu Picchu, Peru. Several articles based on this research have been published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2012), Journal of Archaeological Science (2009), Chungara: Revista de Antropología Chilena (2010), and International Journal of Osteoarchaeology (2013). Her current research is focused in the Cuzco region of the southern Peruvian highlands and the Lambayeque region of the Peruvian north coast, the latter of which has been published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2013). She is the director of the GSU Bioarchaeology Laboratory, and her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Lambda Alpha Anthropology Society.

careers with turnerDr. Turner’s research centers on understanding life in the ancient Andes, especially among those peoples who lived in ancient imperial states such as the Wari, Tiwanaku and Inca, and those who lived under Spanish control during the centuries following European contact. Long before the arrival of the Spanish, the Central Andes boasted tremendously complex societies. These ancient states administered and controlled their subject populations in different ways, often depending on whom those subject populations were and where they lived. In a larger sense, these Andean states were different in many ways from other well-known civilizations such as Rome or ancient China. But they share a common thread in that empires stand on the shoulders of their people, most of whom passed anonymously into history. Studying the skeletal remains of such people through light and heavy isotope analysis and osteological analysis permits the reconstruction of fundamental aspects of their lives such as diet, geographic movement, trauma and health. This research opens a window into the past and illuminates key areas of ancient life. It also contributes to a better understanding of ancient political economy and cultural ecology in indigenous states.

Bethany Turner Fieldwork photo1In addition to her primary work in the Peruvian Andes, Dr. Turner has also studied ancient populations from Sudanese Nubia, northern Florida, and southern Mongolia. She has also published research centered on ethical practice in bioarchaeology in the US and abroad, and on human diet evolution, particularly problems with the notion of “Paleo” diets and debates about their benefits for modern health. Her graduate students have completed independent research projects centered on analyses of human remains from sites in southern Georgia, coastal Georgia, highland Peru, coastal Peru, medieval Denmark, the Lower Illiniois River Valley, and Greece. Her MA students have continued on to highly competitive and well-funded PhD programs at UGA, Tulane, University of Wyoming, University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas, and University of Sheffield (UK).


n.d. Garland, Carey J., Turner, Bethany L., Klaus, Haagen D. Biocultural Consequences of Spanish Contact in the Lambayeque Valley Region of Northern Peru: Internal Enamel Microstructures as Indicators of Early Life Stress. Manuscript in preparation for submission to Journal of Archaeological Science.

n.d. Turner, Bethany L., Klaus, Haagen D., Garland, Carey J., Jones, Daniel S., Brooks, Keegan T. Life After Conquest: Diet and Migration in the Late Pre-Colonial, Early Colonial, and Mid-Late Colonial Periods in the Lambayeque Valley of Peru. Manuscript in preparation for submission to Journal of Archaeological Science.

n.d. Turner, Bethany L., Klaus, Haagen D. The Bioarchaeology of Culture Change: Inferring Diet, Health and Mobility During Imperial Consolidation and Decline. In Zuckerman, Molly K., Martin, Debra L. (Eds.) Biocultural Anthopology: New Directions. Wiley-Blackwell, Invited submission in review.

n.d. Vogel, Melissa, Garren, A., Pacifico, D., Turner, Bethany L. Urban Political Ecology in Late Prehistory: New Evidence from El Purgatorio, Peru. Journal of Field Archaeology, in review.

n.d. Turner, Bethany L., Hewitt, Barbara R. The Aqlla and Mitmakquna: Diet, Ethnicity, and Status. In Covey, Alan R., Alconi, Sonia (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Inka. Oxford University Press, Invited submission in review.

2015 Turner, Bethany L., Livengood, Sarah V. Dietary Inference from Bioarchaeological Data: Archaeological Bone Chemistry. In Chrzan, J., Brett, J. (Eds.) Research Methods in the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books, in press.

2015 Turner, Bethany L., Zuckerman, Molly K., George J. Armelagos. Teaching the Anthropology of
Food: Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspectives. In Swift, Candice and Wilk, Richard (Eds.) Teaching Food in Anthropology: Experiences, Challenges, and Techniques. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, in press.

2013 Armelagos, George J., Sirak, Kendra, Werkema, Taylor, Turner, Bethany L. Analysis of
Nutritional Disease in Prehistory: The History of the Search for Scurvy and Other Specific Deficiencies. International Journal of Paleopathology, DOI: 10.1016/ijpp.2013.09.007.

2013 Turner, Bethany L. Interpreting Oral Pathology at Machu Picchu, Peru. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology DOI: 10.1002/oa.2318.

2013 Turner, Bethany L., Thompson, Amanda L. Beyond the Paleolithic Prescription: Incorporating Diversity and Flexibility in the Study of Human Diet Evolution. Nutrition Reviews 71(8): 501-510.

2013 Vanderpool, Emily R., Turner, Bethany L. Stable Isotopic Reconstruction of Diet and Residential Mobility in a Post-Bellum African American Community in Rural Georgia. Southeastern Archaeology 32(1): 97-110.

2013 Turner, Bethany L., Klaus, Haagen D., Livengood, Sarah V., Brown, Leslie E., Saldaña, Fausto, Wester, Carlos. The Variable Roads to Sacrifice: Isotopic Investigations of Mummified Human Remains from Chotuna-Huaca de Los Sacrificios, Lambayeque, Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 151: 22-37.

2013 Harper, Kristin N., Zuckerman, Molly K., Turner, Bethany L., Armelagos, George J. Primates, Pathogens and Evolution: A Context for Understanding Emerging Disease. In Brinkworth, Jessica and Pechenkina, Ekaterina (Eds.) Primates, Pathogens and Evolution. New York: Springer Publications, pp. 389-409.

2012 Turner, Bethany L., Armelagos, George J. Diet, Residential Origin, and Pathology at Machu Picchu, Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149(1): 71-83.

2012 Turner, Bethany L., Zuckerman, Molly K,. Kingston, John D., Armelagos, George J., Hunt, David R., Amgalantugs, Tsend, Batchatar, Erdene, Frolich, Bruno. Diet and Death in Times of War: Isotopic and Osteological Analysis of Mummified Human Remains from Southern
Mongolia. Journal of Archaeological Science 39: 3125-3140.

2012 Zuckerman, Molly K., Turner, Bethany L., Armelagos, George J. Evolutionary Thought In Paleopathology and the Rise of the Biocultural Approach. In Grauer, Anne (Ed.) A Companion to Paleopathology. UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., pp. 34-57.

2010 Turner, Bethany L., Kingston, John D., Armelagos, George J. Variation in Dietary Histories among the Immigrants of Machu Picchu: Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Evidence. Chungara: Revista de Antropología Chilena 42(2): 515-524.

2010 Turner, Bethany L., Andrushko, Valerie A. Partnerships and Pitfalls in Ethical Bioarchaeology: Insights from Peru. In Agarwal, Sabrina and Glencross, Bonnie (Eds.) Social Bioarchaeology. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, pp. 44-67.

2009 Turner, Bethany L., Armelagos, George J., Kamenov, George D., Kingston, John D. Insights into immigration and social class at Machu Picchu, Peru based on oxygen, strontium, and lead isotopic analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 317-332.

2008 Turner, Bethany L., Maes, Kenneth, Sweeney, Jennifer L., Armelagos, George J. Human evolution, diet and nutrition: Where the body meets the buffet. In Trevathan, Wenda R., Smith, E.O., McKenna, J.J. (Eds.) Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives. New York:
Oxford University Press, pp. 55-71.

2007 Turner, Bethany L., Edwards, Jamie L., Quinn, Elizabeth A., Kingston, John D., Van Gerven, Dennis P. Age-related variation in isotopic indicators of diet at medieval Kulubnarti, Sudanese Nubia. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 17(1): 1-25.

2006 Turner, Bethany L., Toebbe, Diana S., Armelagos, George J. To the science, to the living, to the dead: Ethics and bioarchaeology. In: Ellison, George, Goodman, Alan H. (Eds.) The Nature of Difference: Science, Society and Human Biology. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, pp.203-224.

2005 Turner, Bethany L., Kingston, John D., Milanich, Jerald T. Isotopic evidence of immigration linked to status during the Weeden Island and Suwannee Valley Periods in North Florida.
Southeastern Archaeology 24(2): 121-136.

2005 Armelagos, George J., Brown, Peter J., Turner, Bethany. Evolutionary, historical and political economic perspectives on health and disease. Social Science and Medicine 61(4): 755-765.