Brenda Baker's principal research interests are in bioarchaeology, human osteology and
paleopathology. Her specialty is examining human skeletal remains to reconstruct past
lifeways and the health status of ancient people. Dr. Baker has participated in excavations
in the southwestern, midwestern, and northeastern US and in Egypt. She has been the
Physical Anthropologist for the University of Pennsylvania Museum-Yale University-Institute
of Fine Arts, New York University Expedition to Abydos since 1988, conducting burial
excavation and analysis of human remains from both cemetery and settlement contexts
at this important ancient Egyptian site. Other research interests include the impact of
contact between Europeans and Native Americans through analyses of health status and
mortuary practices, and the differential diagnosis of disease in past populations,
particularly concerning treponematosis and tuberculosis.
Dr. Baker did her undergraduate work at Northwestern University and her graduate training
at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her dissertation was on Collagen
Composition in Human Skeletal Remains from the NAX Cemetery (A.D. 350-550) in Lower
Nubia. Brenda Baker has also taught at Tufts University (1992) and Moorhead State
University (1993-94) and was director of the repatriation program and Curator of Human
Osteology at the New York State Museum from 1994-1998.
She is senior author of a forthcoming book on The Osteology of Infants and Children
(Texas A&M University Press, Fall 2005), building on her experience with well-preserved
subadult burials in Egypt. She has published extensively on paleopathology, the
consequences of contact, and on her work in Egypt.
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Baker, Brenda J., Tosha L. Dupras, Matthew W. Tocheri, and Sandra M. Wheeler (in press)
The Osteology of Infants and Children. Texas A&M University Press. Publication Fall 2005.
Baker, Brenda J., and Lisa Kealhofer, editors (1996)
Bioarchaeology of Native American Adaptation in the Spanish Borderlands. The Ripley P.
Bullen Series. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Baker, Brenda J. (2005)
Patterns of Pre- and Post-Columbian Treponematosis in the Northeastern United States.
In Debunking the Myth of Syphilis, The Natural History of Treponematosis in North America,
edited by Mary Lucas Powell and Della C. Cook, pp. 119-144. University Press of Florida,
Gainesville. In press.
Baker, Brenda J. (2001)
Secrets in the Skeletons: Disease and Deformity Attest the Hazards of Daily Life. Archaeology54(3):47. In feature on "Egypt's Sacred Sands: Uncovering Ancient Abydos," pp. 42-49,
Baker, Brenda J., Tamara L. Varney, Richard G. Wilkinson, Lisa M. Anderson, and Maria A. Liston
Repatriation and the Study of Human Remains. In The Future of the Past: Archaeologists,
Native Americans, and Repatriation, edited by Tamara Bray, pp. 69-89. Garland Publishing,
Baker, Brenda J., and Christina B. Rieth (2000)
Beyond the Massacre: Historic and Prehistoric Activity at Fort William Henry. Northeast
Baker, Brenda J. (1999)
Early Manifestations of Tuberculosis in the Skeleton. In Tuberculosis: Past and Present, edited by
Gyrgy P lfi, Olivier Dutour, Judith Dek, and Imre Huts, pp. 299-307. Golden Book and Tuberculosis
Foundation, Szeged, Hungary.
Baker, Brenda J. (1997)
Contributions of Biological Anthropology to the Understanding of Ancient Egyptian and
Nubian Societies. In Anthropology and Egyptology: A Developing Dialogue, edited by
Judith Lustig, pp. 106-116. Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology 8. Sheffield
Academic Press, Sheffield, England.
Baker, Brenda J. (1994)
Pilgrim's Progress and Praying Indians: The Biocultural Consequences of Contact in
Southern New England. In In the Wake of Contact: Biological Responses to Conquest,
edited by Clark S. Larsen and George R. Milner, pp. 35-45. Wiley Liss, New York.
Baker, Brenda J., and George J. Armelagos (1988)
The Origin and Antiquity of Syphilis: Paleopathological Diagnosis and Interpretation.
Current Anthropology 29(5):703 737.
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