My current research is focused in Southeast Europe where I use human skeletal collections housed in museums around Romania, Hungary and Croatia to study identity, migration, and population history during the Ottoman period. Utilizing craniometric and cranial non-metric biological distance analyses, my work highlights biological relationships from morphological variants that are known proxies for genetic information. These data provide considerable insight into demography and biological affinities. Likewise, my research employs strontium isotope analysis to better understand population history. With these methods, I explore regional questions of identity that are typically understood through conflicting, and often contentious, historical accounts. In Southeast Europe, regional historiography champions either substantial migrations of non-Europeans or the large-scale religious conversion of Europeans to Islam as the process defining the biological background of the Ottomans in Europe. My research shows that over-simplified historical narratives that champion one process over the other are at odds with the bioarchaeological data, with distinct group variability both between and within Ottoman communities evident in the osteological record. Project Funding: National Science Foundation Grant No. 1642007 (joint funding from Biological Anthropology and Archaeology Divisions)
Map of Project Sites: Ottoman skeletal collections (1= Ottoman series from Budapest, Hungary, 2= Ottoman series from Szekszárd, Hungary, 3= Ottoman series from Timişoara, Romania, 4=Vlach/Ottoman series from Croatia) and comparative populations (E=European collections of Berg, Zalávar, and Dugopolje; A=provenience of the two Anatolian comparative series
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