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Sarah A. Lacy is a biological anthropologist specializing in paleoanthropology and bioarchaeology. She received a BS in anthropology from Tulane University in 2008 and a PhD in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. She taught at the University of Missouri, St. Louis and at California State University, Dominguez Hills (Los Angeles) before joining the faculty at the University of Delaware in 2023.
Lacy explores dental cavities, periodontal disease, and tooth loss in Neandertals and early modern humans across Europe and Southwest Asia and given the prevalence among recent humans. More than just oral health, she looks at how oral diseases also reveal information about diet, environment, disease susceptibility, and overall health in individuals and populations.
Her latest project explores the reliability of bony indicators of respiratory health, their presence in ancient populations, and how they might correlate with oral health. Smoke inhalation is as ancient as the domestication of fire, and Lacy is collaborating with colleagues in the fields of human biology and archaeology to identify the health impacts of close human relationships with fire over the last half a million years.
Lacy also publishes on issues of sex and gender in the Paleolithic as well as in the field of anthropology. Her research expertise translates to teaching interests in biological anthropology, human health, and human-environment interactions. She has a strong interest in supporting undergraduate research opportunities. She was interim director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at California State University, Dominguez Hills before joining the University of Delaware.
Lacy is co-director of an excavation field school focused on the Middle Paleolithic history of North Macedonia. Click for information on the next field season.
2021. Between a Rock and a Cold Place: Neanderthal Biocultural Cold Adaptations. Evolutionary Anthropology. (with Cara Ocobock, and Alexandra Niclou)
2021. Disentangling Cro-Magnon: The Dental and Alveolar Remains. Journal of Archaeological Science. (with Erik Trinkaus, Adrien Thibeault, and Sebastien Villotte)
2021. Evidence of Dental Agenesis in the Late Pleistocene. International Journal of Paleopathology.
2020. Dental Modification as a Long-Term Biocultural Trend in the Epipaleolithic of Southwest Asia? Revisiting Ohalo II H2. International Journal of Paleopathology. (with John C. Willman)
2018. Newly Recognized Human Dental Remains at Les Fadets (Lussac-les-Châteaux, Vienne, France). Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris. (with S. Bailey, S. Benazzi C. Delage)
2017. Re-Politicizing the Anthropologist in the Age of Neoliberalism and #BlackLivesMatter. Transforming Anthropology. (with Ashton Rome)
2017. The Oral Paleopathology. In The People of Palomas: Neandertals from the Sima de las Palomas, Cabezo Gordo, Southeastern Spain. E Trinkaus and M.J. Walker, eds. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. (with V.A. Lombardi, J. Zapata)
2016. Le Gisement Magdalenien de la Piscine (Montmorillon, Vienne): Etudes et Travaux 2006-2011. SERPE Bulletin. (with Christophe Delage, Francois Alamichel, Pascaline Gaussein, Michelle Claire Langley, Vivien Mathé, and Clement Pérault)
2015. Dental Metrics, Morphology and Oral Paleopathology of Oberkassel 1 & 2. In Oberkassel 1914-2014: 100 Years of Research on the Late Glacial Burial. L Giemsch and R.W. Schmitz, eds. Rheinisches Landesmuseum-Bonn.
2014. Case Study: The Oral Pathological Conditions in the Broken Hill (Kabwe) Cranium. International Journal of Paleopathology.
2013. The Foramina Transversaria of the Sunghir 2 and 3 Cervical Vertebrae. Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia. (with Erik Trinkaus)
2012. Dentoalveolar Paleopathology of the Early Modern Humans from Zhirendong, South China. International Journal of Paleopathology. (with Xiu-Jie Wu, Chang-Zu Jin, Da-Gong Qin, Yan-Jun Cai, and Erik Trinkau)
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