Faculty Profile Headshot

Katherine Miller Wolf

Biography:

Dr. Katherine Miller Wolf is a bioarchaeologist, Registered Professional Archaeologist (#47012451), and UWF assistant professor of Anthropology. She specializes in the study of skeletal remains from archaeological sites to answer cultural questions about the past. 

Dr. Miller Wolf is the recipient of a prestigious 2020 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to Honduras for ongoing research of the largest collection of ancient Maya human skeletal remains yet recovered in Mesoamerica and to teach bioarchaeological field and laboratory methods to students from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH).

Dr. Miller Wolf is active  in field projects dating from 250 -1100 AD in the prehistoric period in northern Belize (Maya Research Program), Ucanal, Guatemala (Ucanal Archaeological Project), Tayasal and San Bernabé in Flores, Guatemala (Tayasal Archaeological Project), and at Copan for an elite Late Classic Residence (The PICASS project). Additionally, she has a project on remains from a Colonial cemetery in Belize City, Belize dating from 1700-1918 AD. 

On Jan. 4, 2020, Dr. Miller Wolf was awarded the 2020 Archaeological Institute of America Conservation and Heritage Management Award for her conservation work in Copan.

Her fieldwork in Honduras began in 2004, when she launched a massive conservation project involving more than 1,200 human skeletal remains in Copan, Honduras. Since then, she has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Copan, Honduras to understand what life was like for the ancient Maya. In 2015, Dr. Miller Wolf was invited to teach an intensive summer course on physical anthropology at UNAH; the first course ever taught by a bioarchaeologist in the country.

She has also conducted research on skeletal samples from the early Holocene Gobero Site in Niger that dates from 8000-5000 years ago and Mississippian and Woodland sites in the Lower Illinois River Valley (Schild, Koster, YokEm, and Klunk Mounds). 

To serve her discipline, Dr. Miller Wolf was a Science Advisor to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the DoSER program and was a guest editor of a special issue on skeletal conservation in the Journal of Advances in Archaeological Practice (Issue 7(1) 2019).

 

Degrees & Institutions:

Dr. Miller Wolf earned her doctorate in anthropology in 2015 from the Center of Bioarchaeological Research in the School of Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Her dissertation “Family, Foreigners, and Fictive Kinship: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Social Organization at Late Classic Copan” was supported by a National Science Foundation grant (BCS1207533).

Research:

Her teaching and research interests include bioarchaeology, kinship, social organization, inequality, identity, mortuary ritual, household archaeology, odontometry, dental morphology, bioanthropology, human osteology, biogeochemistry, Mesoamerica, North Africa, prehistoric, historic, and colonial periods.

 

Publications:

    Publications and Manuscripts (*Peer Reviewed) 

    In press*  C. Friewald, K. Miller Wolf, T. Pugh, A. Rand, and P. Fullagar. Early Colonialism and Population Movement at the Mission , Guatemala. San Bernabé. Ancient Mesoamerica. 

    2019* K. Miller Wolf. “Una Perspectiva Bioarquelógica de la Salud de los Entierros de Yautepec” in Excavaciones de casas en la ciudad Azteca de Yautepec, Morelos, México, M.E. Smith, ed. BAR International Series. Archaeopress, Oxford. p. 435-439. (In Spanish) 

    2019* C. Halperin, J. Garrido, R. Mongeluzzo, M. Salas, K. Miller Wolf. “Resultados de las Investigaciones de la 2da Temporad de Campo de Proyecto Arqueológico Ucanal” in the Proceedings of the XXXI Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, B. Arroyo, LA Méndez S., and G. Ajú Álvarez, editors. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes y Instituto de Antropología e Historia: Asocación Tikal. 

    2019* K. Miller Wolf. “Curating Large Skeletal Collections: An Example from the Ancient Maya Site of Copan, Honduras” in the special issue “Curation and Conservation of Human Skeletal Remains: A Global Perspective of Best Practices” of the Journal of Advances in Archaeological Practice 7(1), 30-39 

    2019* H. Plumer-Moodie, C. Quiroz, K. Miller Wolf, Y. Musa. “When Provenience is Lost: Achievements and Challenges in Conserving the Historical St. John’s, Belize Skeletal Collection” in the special issue “Curation and Conservation of Human Skeletal Remains: A Global Perspective of Best Practices” of the Journal of Advances in Archaeological Practice 7(1), 40-46. 

    2019* C. Frewiald and K. Miller Wolf (Guest Editors). “Considering Conservation of Human Skeletal Remains in Archaeological Contexts” in the special issue “Curation and Conservation of Human Skeletal Remains: A Global Perspective of Best Practices” of the Journal of Advances in Archaeological Practice 7(1), 3-9 

    2018* K. Miller Wolf and C. Freiwald “Re-interpreting Ancient Maya Mobility: A Strontium Isotope Baseline for Western Honduras.” Journal of Archaeological Sciences Reports. 20:799- 807. 

    2017* D. Bullock, K. Miller Wolf, W. Mohamed, M. Wolf. “Igniting the Passion: Examples for Anthropology, Sociology, and Geography” in Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning across Academic Disciplines, R. Alexander, ed. George Mason University Press. p. 153-172. 

    2017* K. Miller Wolf. “La Bioarqueología de Diversidad y Complejidad de la Antigua Sociedad Maya en Copán: Resultados de un estudio de estroncio y biodistancia” in the Proceedings of the XXX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, B. Arroyo, LA Méndez S., and G. Ajú Álvarez, editors. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes y Instituto de Antropología e Historia: Asocación Tikal. 

    2016* T.W. Pugh, K. Miller Wolf, C. Freiwald, P.M. Rice. “Technologies of domination at Mission San Bernabé, Petén, Guatemala.” Ancient Mesoamerica. 27(1): 49-70. 

    2014* C.M. Stojanowski, C.L. Carver, K. Miller. “Incisor Avulsion, social identity and Saharan population history: New data from the Early Holocene southern Sahara.” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 35:79-91. 

    2010* T.D. Price, J.H. Burton, R.J. Sharer, J.E. Buikstra, L.E. Wright, L.P. Traxler, K. Miller. “Kings and commoners at Copán: Isotopic evidence for origins and movement in the Classic Maya period.” Yearbook Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29:15-32. 

    Accepted

    *K. Miller Wolf. “Un Enfoque Bioarqueológica a la Diversidad y la Complejidad de la Antigua Sociedad Maya en Copán: Resultados de Nueva Estroncio y Biodistance Datos.” Yaxkin. 

    In Review W

    K. Miller Wolf. “Life and Death at the San Bernabé Spanish Mission” in Colonialism at Tayasal, Peten, Guatemala, T. Pugh, ed, University of Colorado Press. 

    C. Hughes, J. Lindo, T Pugh, C. Marshall, R Malhi, K. Miller Wolf, C. Freiwald. “Assessing Ancestry at San Bernabé’: Insights from an Ancient DNA Feasibility Study” in Colonialism at Tayasal, Peten, Guatemala, T. Pugh, ed, University of Colorado Press. 

    K. Miller Wolf. “The Bioarchaeology of Late Classic Copan: Migration, Kinship, and Social Organization” in Copan in the Late Classic and Postclassic, E. Barrios, A. Tokovinine, and C. McNeil, eds. University of Florida Press. 

     


Keywords: bioarchaeology, Copan, Maya, Tayasal, dental anthropology, biodistance, strontium isotopes, colonial, household archaeology, kinship, and social organization.