Grad Student Directory

Shevan Wilkin

I hold a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where my studies focused on health and disease in past populations. My current interest is in looking at violence levels, and how they change as empires form and collapse, as well as what happens in the periods of instability between empires. My research examines the differences in violence against women between terminal Wari groups (880-990 A.D.) and newly emerging Late Intermediate Period (LIP 1100-1250 A.D.) communities in the Andes. As the LIP groups were no longer supported by the central state, it was a time of economic uncertainty, resources were more scarce, and hostilites between neighboring groups were high. I postulate that women during this time period will experience higher trauma rates, not only in vault injuries from raiding villages, but in the form of facial trauma and anterior maxilliary tooth loss. Since there is no documented evidence of women participating in hand-to-hand combat, this trauma is speculated to be caused by domestic violence, whether from spouses, other wives, or even other family members. I have begun collecting data from three sites, one Wari and two LIP, and will be presenting the results at the SAA in April 2014. Next summer, I will continue looking into other Wari and LIP sites to broaden the sample sizes and hone my conclusions. 

Degree and focus: Biological Anthropology.