National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Tiffiny A. Tung

Affiliation: Vanderbilt University

Tiffiny Tung is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an anthropological bioarchaeologist who studies mummies and skeletons from archaeology sites. In particular, she investigates how ancient imperial policies and practices structure health status, exposure to violence, and lived experience of ruling and subject peoples. Her research on the ‘bioarchaeology of imperialism’ has focused on the Wari Empire of the Peruvian Andes. Her current, NSF-funded research now examines the decline of the Wari Empire, including possible explanations for that decline, as well as its health effects on heartland and hinterland peoples. She has been conducting archaeological and bioarchaeological fieldwork in Peru since 1994 and has done research in Cyprus, Greece, and the Channel Islands of Santa Barbara, among other locales. She has also analyzed human skeletal remains from early Spanish Missions in Florida, archaeological sites in Middle Tennessee, and African slave burials from the former Grassmere Plantation in Nashville. She was also a consultant and presenter for the Discovery Channel series, Mummy Autopsy, in which she travelled to 10 different sites across the globe to analyze skeletons and mummies and educate the public about bioarchaeological research. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Current Anthropology, the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Cambridge Archaeology Journal, and Latin American Antiquity, among other journals and edited volumes. She is also the author of the book Violence, Ritual, and The Wari Empire: A Social Bioarchaeology of Imperialism in the Ancient Andes (2012).

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