Burials and Bodies at Sunghir
April 4, 2014
Erik Trinkaus’ research is concerned with the evolution of the genus Homo as a background to recent human diversity. He has focused on the paleoanthropological study of late archaic and early modern humans, emphasizing biological reflections of the nature, degree and patterning of the behavioral shifts between these two groups of Pleistocene humans. This research includes considerations of the “origins of modern humans” phylogenetic debate, the interpretation of the archeological record, and patterns of recent human anatomical variations. However, it has been principally through the paleobiological analysis of human fossil remains that he has sought to shed light on these issues. This research involves: the functional (biomechanical) analysis of head and limb remains, considerations of thermal adaptations, interpretations of ecogeographical patterning, evaluations of neuroanatomical evolution, assessments of the interrelationships between these anatomically-based patterns, decipherment of life history parameters, and paleopathological analyses to assess differential levels and patterns of stress. As such, this work has involved diverse areas of research, including biomechanics, bone biology, taphonomy, demography, pathology and recent human skeletal biology, in addition to traditional aspects of human paleontological analysis.