Amy Michael, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Office: Graveley 153
I received my PhD from Michigan State University in 2016. I am originally from the Midwest, but I am looking forward to exploring the West. I am trained in bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and historical archaeology. My dissertation research was on microscopic indicators of health in the human dentition from seven ancient Maya mortuary sites in Belize. Beyond Central America, I have worked on archaeological projects in Albania and the United States. Outside of anthropology, I enjoy hunting through used book stores, petting many dogs, and watching and collecting horror movies.
I am interested in the microstructure of human bone and teeth, as well as how the human skeleton reacts to lifestyle factors like drug and alcohol abuse. In my bioarchaeological research, I address questions of social identity through the lens of mortuary variability. In particular, I investigate cave and rockshelter burials in central Belize. In my forensic research, I aim to refine age at death estimations through histological analysis of the ribs and femora. Overall, I also pursue studies of pathological bone from the recent and distant past to answer anthropological questions about quality of life, health experience, and identity. I spent six years working for the Michigan State University Campus Archaeology Program (CAP) so I am also interested in historic archaeology and gendered landscapes of the past. The field project I work on is called the Central Belize Archaeological Survey (CBAS) and information about our field school and past research can be accessed at: www.anthropology.msu.edu/cbasproject. Information about the historical archaeology work I have done can be accessed at campusarch.msu.edu.