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Frank Williams

Professor    Professor of Anthropology    

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001


Paleoanthropology, Osteology, Primates, Neandertals, Neolithic Belgium, Australopithecus, Paranthropus, paleoecology, diet, dental microwear


Dr. Frank L’Engle Williams received his B.A. from the University of Florida, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before coming to Georgia State, he was a post-doctoral research assistant at Pennsylvania State University. In March 2014, Dr. Williams was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary as a Fulbright Specialist Program grantee. During Spring 2016, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Belgium as detailed in several blogs


The professional interests of Dr. Williams include studies of Neandertals, Australopithecus and Paranthropus. Parallel to his interest in morphology, he has explored dental microwear to reconstruct ancient diets and the paleoecology of early humans and their relatives, as well as cercopithecid monkeys from Plio-Pleistocene southern Africa and Eurasia. Dr. Williams supervises the Dental Microwear Laboratory which houses a unique collection of primate and early human dental casts (n = 728).

Williams book cover  Cover- Fathers and Their Children in First Three Years of Life




Droke J, Schmidt CW, Williams FL, Karriger WM, Smith FH, Becam G, de Lumley M-A (2020) Regional variability in diet between Northern European and Mediterranean Neandertals: Evidence from dental microwear texture analysis. In: (Schmidt CW, Watson JT, Eds.), Dental Wear in Evolutionary and Biocultural Contexts. Springer. pp. 225-242.

Williams FL (2019) Fathers and their Children in the First Three Years of Life: An Anthropological Perspective. Texas A & M University Press, College Station, TX.

Williams FL, Schmidt CW, Droke J, Willman JC, Semal P, Becam G, de Lumley M-A (2019) Dietary reconstruction of Spy I using dental microwear texture analysis / Reconstitution de l’alimentation de Spy 1 grâce à l’analyse de la texture des micro-traces dentaires. Comptes rendus Palevol 18: 1083–1094.

Williams FL, Brophy JK, Mathews G, Hardin E, Becam G, de Lumley M-A (2019) Comparison of Neandertal mandibular first molar occlusal outlines using elliptical Fourier function analysis. Anthropologie (Brno) 57: 115–126.

Williams FL, Lane KM (2019) A unilateral bifid mandibular condyle and skeletal asymmetry from an identified osteological collection. Journal of Paleopathology 27:15–23.

Sherrill K, Williams FL (2019) Reconstructing the diet of Late Neolithic farmers of Belgium from dental microwear features. Notae Praehistoricae 39:113-123.

Smith AK, Reitsema LJ, Williams FL, Vercellotti RB, Vercellotti G (2019) Sex- and status-based differences in medieval food preparation and consumption: dental microwear analysis at Trino Vercellese, Italy. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11: 4789–4800.

Quispe BI, Williams FL (2019) Cervical arthritis, C3-C7, from an identified osteological collection  / Arthritis cervicales, C3-C7, de una colección documentada. Revista Argentina de Antropologia Biologica 21: 1-13.

Williams FL, Droke J, Schmidt CW, Willman JC, Becam G, de Lumley M-A (2018) Dental microwear texture analysis of Neandertals from Hortus cave, France /Analyse de la texture des de la micro-usure dentaire chez les Néandertaliens de la grotte de l’Hortus, France. Comptes rendus Palevol 17:545–556.

Power RC, Williams FL (2018) The increasing intensity of food processing during the Upper Paleolithic of western Eurasia. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology

Williams FL, George RL, Polet C (2018) Deciduous molar morphology from the Neolithic caves of the Meuse River Basin, Belgium. Dental Anthropology 31:18-26.

Williams FL, George RL, de Lumley MA, Becam G (2017) Expression of nonmetric dental traits in Western European Neanderthals. Dental Anthropology 30:3-15.

Williams FL, Lane KM, Anderson WG (2017) Comparison of maxillary first molar occlusal outlines of Neandertals from the Meuse River Basin of Belgium using elliptical Fourier analysis. Anthropological Review 80:273–286.

Williams FL, Polet C (2017) A secondary mandibular condylar articulation and collateral effects on a Late Neolithic mandible from Bois Madame rockshelter in Arbre, Belgium. International Journal of Paleopathology 16:44-49.

Williams FL (2016) Severe temporomandibular arthritis and multiple dental abscesses in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium. Journal of Paleopathology 26: 85–91.

Williams FL, Cofran Z (2016) Postnatal craniofacial ontogeny in Neandertals and modern humans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 159: 394-409.

Hoover K, Williams FL (2016) Variation in regional diet and mandibular morphology in prehistoric Japanese hunter-gatherer-fishers. Quaternary International 405: 101-109.

Williams FL, Cunningham DL, Amaral LQ (2015) Forelimb proportions in Homo sapiens, Australopithecus afarensis and the great apes. Homo—Journal of Comparative Human Biology 66: 477-491.

Williams FL (2015) Dietary proclivities of Paranthropus robustus from Swartkrans, South Africa. Anthropological Review 78:1-19.

Williams FL, Geissler E (2014) Reconstructing the diet and paleoecology of Plio-Pleistocene Cercopithecoides williamsi from Sterkfontein, South Africa. Palaios 29: 483-494.

Williams FL (2014) Dietary reconstruction of Pliocene Parapapio whitei from Makapansgat, South Africa, using dental microwear texture analysis. Folia Primatologica 85: 21-37.

Williams FL (2013) Neandertal craniofacial growth and development and its relevance for modern human origins. In The Origins of Modern Humans: Biology Reconsidered (Smith F and Ahern J, eds.). Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, pp. 253-284.

Williams FL (2013) Enamel microwear texture properties of IGF 11778 (Oreopithecus bambolii) from the late Miocene of Baccinello, Italy. Journal of Anthropological Sciences 91: 201-217.

Williams FL, Schroeder L, Ackermann RR (2012) The mid-face of lower Pleistocene hominins and its bearing on the attribution of SK 847 and StW 53. Homo – Journal of Comparative Human Biology 63: 245-257.

Williams FL, Holmes NA (2012) Dental microwear texture analysis of late Pliocene Procynocephalus subhimalayanus (Primates: Cercopithecidae) of the Upper Siwaliks, India. Central European Journal of Geosciences 4: 425-438.

Forouzan F, Glover JB, Williams F, Deocampo D (2012) Portable XRF analysis of zoomorphic figures, “tokens,” and sling bullets from Chogha Gaveneh, Iran. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 39: 3534-3541.

Williams FL, Holmes NA (2011) Evidence of terrestrial diets in Pliocene Eurasian papionins (Mammalia: Primates) inferred from low-magnification stereomicroscopy of molar enamel use-wear scars. Palaios 26: 720-729.

Williams FL, Patterson JW (2010) Reconstructing the paleoecology of Taung, South Africa from low-magnification of dental microwear features in fossil primates. Palaios 25: 439–448.

Robinson CA, Williams FL (2010) Quantifying mental foramen position in extant hominoids and Australopithecus: Implications for its use in studies of human evolution. Anatomical Record 293: 1337–1349.

Williams FL (2009) We will age. American Scientist 97: 4–5.

Williams FL, Belcher RL, Armelagos GJ (2007) On Meroitic Nubian crania, Fordisc 2.0, and human biological history. A reply to SOY Keita. Current Anthropology 48: 425–427.

Williams FL, Armelagos GJ (2007) On the misclassification of Nubian crania: Are there any implications for assumptions about human variation? A reply to M Hubbe and W Neves. Current Anthropology 48: 285–288.

Williams FL, Orban R. (2007) Ontogeny and phylogeny of the pelvis in Gorilla, Pongo, Pan, Australopithecus and Homo. Folia Primatologica 78: 99–117.

Williams FL, Ackermann RR, Leigh SR. (2007) Inferring Plio-Pleistocene southern African biochronology from facial affinities in Parapapio and other fossil papionins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132: 163–174.

Williams FL (2006) A comparison of the Krapina lower facial remains to an ontogenetic series of Neandertal fossils. Periodicum Biologorom 108: 279–288.

Smeenk D, Godfrey LR, Williams FL (2006) The early specimens of the potto Perodicticus potto (Statius Müller, 1776) in the National Museum of Natural History, Leiden, with the selection of a neotype. Zoologische Mededelingen 80: 139–164.

Williams FL, Belcher RL, Armelagos G (2005) Forensic misclassification of ancient Nubian crania: Implications for assumptions about human variation. Current Anthropology 46: 340–346.

van vark GN, Kuizenga D, Williams FL (2005) A reply to Jantz and Owsley: Kennewick, Luzia and later human evolution. Fysisch Anthropologische Mededelingen 13: 27–31.

Williams FL, Hall JM (2005) Homo erectus, two species or one? General Anthropology 10: 1, 8–10.

Williams FL, Krovitz GE (2004) Ontogenetic migration of the mental foramen in Neandertals and modern humans. Journal of Human Evolution 47: 199–219.

Williams FL, Richtsmeier JT (2003) Comparison of mandibular landmarks from computed tomography and 3-D digitizer data. Clinical Anatomy 16: 494–500.

van Vark GN, Kuizenga D, Williams FL (2003) Kennewick and Luzia: Lessons from the European Upper Paleolithic. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 121: 181–184.

Williams FL, Godfrey LR, Sutherland MR (2003) Diagnosing heterochronic perturbations in the craniofacial evolution of Homo (Neandertals and modern humans) and Pan (P. troglodytes and P. paniscus). In Patterns of Growth and Development in the Genus Homo (Thompson J Krovitz G and Nelson A, eds). Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, pp. 295–319.

Williams FL, Godfrey LR, Sutherland MR (2002) Heterochrony and the evolution of Neandertal and modern human craniofacial form, In Human Evolution through Developmental Change (N. Minugh-Purvis and K. McNamara, eds.). Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, pp. 405–441.
Williams FL (2000) Heterochrony and the human fossil record: Comparing Neandertal and modern human craniofacial ontogeny, In: Neanderthals on the Edge: 150th Anniversary Conference of the Forbes’ Quarry Discovery (C. Stringer, R.N.E. Barton and C. Fenlayson, eds.). Oxbow Books: Oxford, UK, pp. 257–267.

Godfrey LR, Sutherland MR, Paine RR, Williams FL, Boy DS, Vullaume-Randriamanantena M (1995) Limb bone joint surface areas and their ratios in Malagasy lemurs and other mammals. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 97: 47–59.

Williams FL (1989) Early hominid evolution. Florida Journal of Anthropology 14: 51–55.