MARQUETTE - Debra L. Martin, a nationally recognized expert on health in the ancient world - particularly related to indigenous women - will give two presentations at Northern Michigan University. They are sponsored by the NMU chapter of Sigma Xi, the scientific honor society. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

"Violence Against Women in Ancient America" is scheduled from 2-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in room 241 of the Physical Education Instructional Facility, or PEIF.

Martin will explain how skeletal remains from ancient populations document a long history of domestic violence, homicide, combat, warfare, ritual cannibalism and human sacrifice. Several case studies from North American archaeological sites are examined for what they reveal about violence and trauma, particularly as it relates to women's health and safety. She will also discuss how lessons learned from ancient populations can shed light on patterns of violence that have persisted.

Her second presentation, "The Women Who Came Before Us: Diet, Health and Healing in the Ancient World," is scheduled from 8-9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in room 104 Jamrich Hall.

Martin will provide a broad overview of diet and health issues for a number of regions in the world with a special focus on women. The methods for understanding the effects of reproductive stresses, inadequate diet and disease come largely from the analysis of human skeletal remains.

The ancestral Pueblo communities of the American Southwest provide a case study for how diet, nutrition, health, reproduction and disease can be reconstructed. Many problems persist today in underserved and impoverished areas of the world. Martin will explain how linking the past with the present provides an interdisciplinary context for understanding the complex interrelationships between biology and culture.

Martin is professor of biological anthropology, director of the U.S. Southwest and Mexico program and dean of the School of Natural Science at Hampshire College.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in skeletal biology and physical anthropology.

Her research centers on identification of groups at risk, patterns of mortality of women and children, violence directed against subgroups, political-economic perspectives in the analysis of disease, Native and Southwest studies, and ethnic tourism and its effects on indigenous people.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director