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Welcome to the Agarwal Skeletal Biology Lab!
Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

The primary focus of the Agarwal Skeletal Biology Lab is the study of mineralized tissue (skeletal and dental) to investigate novel anthropological questions with a biocultural approach. Our current research is fundamentally concerned with understanding the relationship between biology and social behavior as related to bone health and development over the life course.


The work in the lab emphasizes the combined use of multiple lines of evidence driven by lab or field data on bone/dental biology together with the use of contextual (archaeological, historical, archival, ethnographic, clinical/model) data. The lab specializes in the gross, histomorphological (microscopy), and biomechanical analysis, and preparation of skeletal and/or dental tissues for computed tomography, molecular, and chemical/isotopic analyses.

The research scope is global, with a temporal focus on the contemporary, historic and prehistoric. Recent bioarchaeological research in the lab has contributed to projects in Britain, Colombia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, North America, Portugal, and Turkey. The longstanding research foci has been on human bone development and senescence, and understanding the entangled experiences of disease with sex/gender, with current projects aimed to examine issues of developmental plasticity, labour, diet, social inequality and structural violence, disability, and religious practice. We aim to cultivate a reflexive practice that challenges issues of diversity and bioethics in bioarchaeology.

* note there are images of human skeletal remains (modern and archaeological) on this website. None of the archaeological remains are those of Native American or First Nation ancestors or legacy collections without permission. 

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