Anthro HOME  

Powdermaker  Hall 312A  

(718) 997-5529

(718) 997-2885





Courses Taught:
  • Intro to Human Evolution (102)
  •  Essentials of Biological Anthro (260)
  • Human Skeleton (272)
  • Disease in Prehistory (275)
  • Human Paleontology (362)
  • Anthropological Genomics (364)
  • Bioarchaeology (370)
  • Core in Physical Anthropology (79000)
  • Genetics and Human Variation (79300)

  •   Field Research:
     Selected Publications:
                 A principal emphasis in my research is on how changes through time in human behavior transform patterns of disease distribution and severity and affect community health in different populations. In this context, technological innovations affecting diet are of particular importance. Increasing dependence on cereals with the transition to agriculture, along with greater reliance on soft, thoroughly cooked foods that accompanied advances in pottery-making, have been implicated in the spread of iron deficiency anemia and scurvy, as well as deterioration in oral health. Overcrowding and poor hygiene in early farming settlements may have contributed to the spread of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and syphilis. Improving our specific knowledge of how interactions between disease, human culture, and environment played out in the past can help us develop better tools for understanding the ongoing co-evolution of humans and disease.

                By examining skeletons from archaeological contexts for a wide range of disease indicators, in concert with chemical analyses of bone samples, I assess human diet and nutrition, pathogen and nutrition related illnesses, intensities of workloads, and the incidence of violence. I conduct my present fieldwork in north-central China, studying recently excavated human skeletons, as well as performing basic cleaning, necessary conservation procedures, and the reconstruction of fragmented remains. The collections I have examined range in time from the earliest farming communities (Neolithic, ca 9,000 years ago) to the Han dynastic period (206 BC-220 AD).


    Edited Volumes

  • Kate Pechenkina and Mark Oxenham, editors (2013) Bioarchaeology of East Asia: Movement, Contact, Health. University Press of Florida.

    Including chapters:
    1. Research on human skeletal biology in East Asia: a historical overview / Kate Pechenkina and Marc Oxenham, pp 1-27.
    2. Human ecology in continental and insular East Asia / Kate Pechenkina and Marc Oxenham, pp 28-60.
    12. Yangshao oral health from West to East: effects of increasing complexity and contacts with neighbors / Kate Pechenkina, Ma Xiaolin, Fan Wenquan, Wei Dong, and Zhang Quanchao, pp 288-322.
    18. Trajectories of health in early farming communities of East Asia / Kate Pechenkina, Ma Xiaolin, and Fan Wenquan, pp 444-481.
    19. East Asian bioarchaeology: major trends in a temporally, genetically, and eco-culturally diverse region / Marc Oxenham and Kate Pechenkina, pp 482-498.

  • Jessica Brinkworth and Kate Pechenkina, editors (2013) Primates, Pathogens, and Evolution. Series: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects, Vol. 38. Springer.

  • Publications

    Halcrow S, Miller MJ, Pechenkina K, Dong Yu, Fan Wenquan. In press. The Bioarchaeology of Infant Feeding. In The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and Reproduction, editors Cecilia Tomori and Sallie Han.

    Berger E, Pechenkina K. 2020. Paleopathological research in continental China: Introduction to the Special Issue. International Journal of Paleopathology. 28:92-98. Article link

    Halcrow SE, Miller MH, Snoddy AM, Fan W, Pechenkina K. 2019. Growing up different in Neolithic China: A contextualised case study and differential diagnosis of a young adult with skeletal dysplasia. International Journal of Paleopathology. 28:6-19. Article link

    Pechenkina K, Fan W, Luo X. 2019. What's that big thing on your head? Diagnosis of a large frontoparietal lesion on an Eastern Zhou skull from Henan, China. International Journal of Paleopathology 26:84-92. Article link

    Sun L, Pechenkina K, Cao Y, Zhang H, Qi X. 2019. Cases of endocranial lesions on juvenile skeletons from Longshan cultural sites in Henan Province, China. International Journal of Paleopathology 26:61-74. Article link

    Thomas, C, Ji Y, Wu C, Datz, H, Boyle C, MacLeod B, Patel S, Ampofo M, Currie M, Harbin J, Pechenkina K, Lodhi N, Johnson S, Tulin AV. 2019. Hit and run versus long-term activation of PARP-1 by its different domains fine-tunes nuclear processes. PNAS 116:9941-9946. Article link

    Berger E, Pechenkina K. 2018. Bioarchaeology of China: Bridging Biological and Archaeological Inquiries. In Archaeological Human Remains - Global Perspectives. Vol 2. Edited by O'Donnabhain, Barra, Lozada Cerna, Maria Cecilia.. Springer Press.

    Pechenkina K. 2018. Of millets and Wheat: Diet and health on the Central Plain of China during the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Handbook of Early Chinese History. Paul R. Goldin (ed). Routledge. pp. 39-60.

    Pechenkina K, Ma X, Fan W. 2017. Health Status and Burial Status in Early China. In Bones Of Complexity: Bioarchaeological Case Studies of Social Organization and Skeletal Biology. Edited By Haagen D. Klaus, Amanda R. Harvey, and Mark N. Cohen. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.pp 173-205. PDF

    Dong Y, Morgan C, Cinenov Y, Zhou L, Fan W, Ma X, Pechenkina K. 2017. Shifting diets and the rise of male-biased inequality on the Central Plans of China during Eastern Zhou. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(5):932-937. Article link

    Thomas C, Ji Y, Lodhi N, Kotova E, Pinnola AD, Golovine K, Makhov P, Pechenkina K, Kolenko V, Tulin AV. 2016. Non-NAD-Like poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 inhibitors effectively eliminate cancer in vivo.EBioMedicine 13:90-98. Article link

    Pechenkina EA. 2012. From morphometrics to holistics: the emergence of paleopathology in China. In: The Global History of Paleopathology: Pioneers and Prospects. Edited by Jane Buikstra and Charlotte Roberts. pp 345-361. Oxford University Press.

  • Brinkworth JF, Pechenkina EA, Silver J, Goyert SM. 2012. Innate immune responses to TLR2 and TLR4 agonists differ between baboons, chimpanzees and humans. J Med Primatol 41: 388-93.

  • Pechenkina EA. 2012. Bioarchaeological analysis of human skeletons from the Xiyasi Cemetery. In: Xiyasi, the Eastern Zhou Cemetery of in Xinzheng. pp 232-261. Elephant Press. (in Chinese)

  • Pechenkina EA. 2010. Pathological analysis of human skeleton. In Xipo Cemetery in Linbao. Edited by Institute of Archaeology, CASS and Henan Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics. pp 153-196. Beijing: Cultural Relics Press.

  • Pechenkina EA, Ma X, Eng J, Shoichet R, Wei D, Zhang Q, Li X, Fan W, Zhu H. 2009. Reconstructing behavior in ancient China from human skeletal remains. The SAA Archaeological Record 9:36-39,14. PDF

  • Pechenkina EA. 2008. Comment to paper by AK Wilbur, AW Farnbach, KJ Knudson, and JE Buikstra. Diet, tuberculosis, and the paleopathological record. Current Anthropology 49:980. PDF

  • Pechenkina EA, Vradenburg JA, Benfer RA Jr, Farnum JF (2007b) Skeletal biology of the Central Peruvian Coast: consequences of changing population density and progressive dependence on maize agriculture. In Ancient Health: Skeletal Indicators of Agricultural and Economic Intensification. Edited by Mark Nathan Cohen and Gillian M. M. Crane-Kramer. University Florida of Press. pp 93-112. PDF

  • Pechenkina EA, Benfer, RA, Jr, Ma Xiaolin. (2007) Diet and health in the Neolithic of the Wei and Yellow River Basins, Northern China. In Ancient Health: Skeletal Indicators of Agricultural and Economic Intensification. Edited by Mark Nathan Cohen and Gillian M. M. Crane-Kramer. University Florida of Press. pp 255-272. PDF
  • Pechenkina EA and Delgado M. 2006. Dimensions of health and social structure in the Early Intermediate Period cemetery at Villa El Salvador, Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131: 218-235. PDF
  • Pechenkina EA, Ambrose SH, Ma X, and Benfer RA. Jr. 2005. Reconstructing northern Chinese Neolithic subsistence practices by isotopic analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 1176-1189. PDF
  • Pechenkina EA and Benfer RA Jr. 2002. Exostosis on Mandible and Maxilla Among Neolithic Agriculturists from Northern China: an Interplay of Environmental Factors. Homo 53: 112–130. PDF link
  • Pechenkina EA, Benfer RA Jr., and Zhijun W. 2002. Diet and Health Changes with the Intensification of Millet Agriculture at the End of Chinese Neolithic. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 117: 15-36. PDF
  • Pechenkina EA, Benfer RA. Jr., Vershoubaskaya GG, and Kozlov AI. 2000. Heritability of Fluctuating Asymmetry of Dermatoglyphic Traits. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 111: 531-543. PDF

    Kate Pechenkina  
    Ph. D. University of Missouri - Columbia 2002  
    CV  •• Photo Gallery •• NYCEP
    Photo Carsten Gutschmidt