Haagen Klaus

Haagen Klaus

Haagen Klaus


Anthropology: --Bioarchaeology, paleopathology, dental anthropology, mortuary analysis -- Forensic anthropology and forensic taphonomy -- Prehistoric and Historic Andean South America; organization of complex societies -- Health, violence, identity, and ethnogenesis -- Theory and methods in bioarchaeology

Coming to George Mason University in 2013, my teaching and research center on the bioarchaeology of the north coast of Peru. My work also spans human skeletal biology and anatomy, pathophysiology, burial taphonomy, and forensic anthropology. I teach sections of Anthropology 135 (Introduction to Biological Anthropology) and upper division undergraduate and graduate courses on paleopathology, bioarchaeology, Andean prehistory, forensic anthropology, and related special seminars. 
The human skeleton is the single most information-dense source of knowledge about the past. While human biology and health are indeed products of our underlying genes, it is our environments, economics, and behaviors that shape elements of skeletal and dental biology far more directly. Since its founding in 2003, I have directed the Lambayeque Valley Biohistory Project, a sustained, multi-decade, international, multidisciplinary, and regional field bioarchaeology program on the desert north coast of Peru. Using the human skeleton as our central source of information, my students, colleagues, and I excavate archaeological sites and mortuary contexts. We seek to learn of the lives of the people: how did developments of socioeconomic and political complexity, violence, new technologies, and hostile Andean environments shape unfolding of 10,000 years of history in this center of Andean civilization?
To explore the answers to these questions, project members from Peru, Japan, Canada, and the United States employ a biohistorical approach in the examination of multiple kinds of information, which include skeletal infection and chronic biological stress, osteoarthritis related to physical activity, patterns of human growth and growth retardation, paleodemographic reconstructions, diet, bone/tooth isotopic chemistry, evidence of ritual violence and sacrifice, and ancient DNA and proteomic variation.

Elyse Adams (co-advisee)

Kristen Browne          

Henrike Fiedler          

Amanda Goush          

Diana Iarussi  

Greta Kuhne  

Kaitlyn McCleese      

Kayley McPhail         

Maria Sellers  

Brianna Dittmer         

Stacey South (co-advisee)     


Selected Publications

Klaus, Haagen D.

2017    Paleopathological Rigor and Differential Diagnosis: Case Studies involving Observation, Description, and Diagnostic Frameworks for Scurvy in Skeletal Remains. International Journal of Paleopathology19: 96-110.


Klaus, Haagen D., Walter Alva, Steven Bourget, and Luis Chero

2018    Biological Distance Patterns among the Northern Moche Lords: Dental Phenetic Perspectives on Political Organization in Ancient Peru. Latin American Antiquity29: 1-22.


Klaus, Haagen D., and Neils Lynnerup

2019    Abnormal Bone: Considerations for Documentation, Disease Process Identification, and Differential Diagnosis. In:Ortner’s Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains, 3rd Edition, edited by Jane E. Buikstra, pp. 59-89. Elsevier, London.


Klaus, Haagen D., and J. Marla Toyne, editors

2016    Ritual Violence in the Ancient Andes: Reconstructing Sacrifice on the North Coast of Peru.  Austin: University of Texas Press.


Klaus, Haagen D., Amanda Harvey, and Mark N. Cohen, editors

2017    Bones of Complexity: Bioarchaeological Case Studies of Social Organization and Skeletal Biology. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.


Murphy, Melissa S., and Haagen D. Klaus, editors

2017    Colonized Bodies, Worlds Transformed: Toward a Global Bioarchaeology of Contact and Colonialism. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.


Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University, 2008.
Dissertation: Out of Light Came Darkness: Bioarchaeology of Mortuary Ritual, Health, and Ethnogenesis in the Lambayeque Valley Complex, North Coast of Peru (AD 900-1750).   Available for download:http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1209498934
M.A., Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University, 2003. Thesis: Life and Death at Huaca Sialupe: Mortuary Archaeology of a Middle Sicán Community, AD 900-1150
B.A., Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Plattsburgh, 2000.