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Michele Buzon

Michele Buzon

Professor // Anthropology

Office and Contact

Room: STON 314

Office hours: By appointment


Phone: (765) 494-4680


ANTH 204 - Introduction to Human Evolution
ANTH 310 – Mortuary Practices Across Cultures
ANTH 312 - Archaeology of Ancient Egypt and the Near East
ANTH 336 – Human Variation
ANTH 436 - Human Evolution
ANTH 534 - Human Osteology
ANTH 611 - Archaeology of Identity

Michele Buzon received her Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2004, and she joined the Purdue University faculty in 2007.
Personal Website



bioarchaeology, paleopathology, culture contact, biological and ethnic identity, environmental stress, Nile Valley

Dr. Buzon’s work focuses on burial archaeology in the Nile Valley (ancient Nubia and Egypt). Using mortuary and skeletal data she explores the consequences of contact between populations. She maintains an active field site in Tombos, Sudan where she has investigated the effects of Nubian-Egyptian contact on identity and health during the New Kingdom and Napatan periods. Professor Buzon directs the analysis of the Tombos skeletal remains, curated at Purdue. She has published articles in various international archaeological and anthropological journals including Journal of Archaeological Science, Archaeometry, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Current Anthropology, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Historical Archaeology and Kiva as well as chapters on bioarchaeological research approaches. Dr. Buzon’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, American Philosophical Society, Institute for Bioarchaeology, and the Killam Trust.

Positions at Purdue University

2017 to present Professor of Anthropology
2010 to 2017 Associate Professor of Anthropology
2007 to 2010 Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Five Most Important Publications

2022     Buzon MR, Marshall J. “Countering the racist scholarship of morphological research in Nubia: Centering the ‘people’ in the past and present.” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 35:2-18.

2022     Buzon MR. “Archaeological site along the Nile opens a window on the Nubian civilization that flourished in ancient Sudan,” The Conversation [April 12, 2022].

2019     Schrader SA, Buzon MR, Corcoran L, Simonetti A. “Intraregional 87Sr/86Sr Variation in Nubia: New Insights from the Third Cataract.”  Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 24:373-379.

2016     Buzon MR, Smith ST, Simonetti A. “Entanglement and the Formation of Ancient Nubian Napatan State.” American Anthropologist 118:284-300.

2013     Buzon MR, Simonetti A. “Strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) variability in the Nile Valley: Identifying residential mobility during ancient Egyptian and Nubian sociopolitical changes in the New Kingdom and Napatan periods.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 151:1-9.

Two Most Recent Publications:

2023     Buzon MR, Smith ST. “Tumuli at Tombos: Innovation, Tradition, and Variability in Nubia during the Early Napatan Period.” African Archaeological Review.

2023     Buzon MR, Simonetti A, Guilbault KA. “Exploring intersectional identities and geographic origins in ancient Nubia at Tombos, Sudan.” Bioarchaeology International DOI: 10.5744/bi.2022.0029

Extramural Grant Support

Senior Research Grant, BCS-1916719, National Science Foundation Archaeology ($60,810), 2019-2022. Collaborative Research: Assessing the Impact of Holocene Climate Change on Bioavailable Strontium Within the Nile River Valley. (co-PI Antonio Simonetti).

The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate, Humanities Without Walls, ($24,395), 2018-2020. Coping with Changing Climate in Early Antiquity: Comparative Approaches between Empiricism and Theory (collaborative grant with University of Chicago Oriental Institute, University of Michigan).

Senior Research Grant, BCS-1359210, National Science Foundation Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Sciences, ($135,273), 2014-2017. Collaborative Research: Impact and Accommodation Through Cultural Contact (co-PI Stuart Tyson Smith).

Dissertation Improvement Grant, BCS-1128950, National Science Foundation Biological Anthropology ($19,849), 2011-2013. Doctoral Dissertation Research: Bioarchaeological Analysis of Diet and Activity Patterns in the Nile Valley (co-PI Sarah Schrader).    

Senior Research Grant, BCS-0917815, National Science Foundation Archaeology, ($74,408), 2009-2011. Collaborative Research: A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Identity Development during Napatan State Formation (co-PI Stuart Tyson Smith).

Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, ($5,000), 2009. A Bioarchaeological Examination of Identity and Migration in Ancient Nubia during the Formation of the Napatan State.

Professional Development Grant, American Association of Physical Anthropologists ($5,000), 2009.  A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Identity Development during Napatan State Formation.

Committee for Research and Exploration Grant, National Geographic Society ($20,000), 2009. A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Napatan State Development at the Third Cataract.

Field Experience

2000-present. Co-Director, Tombos, Sudan.

2000-2020. Principal Osteologist, Tombos, Sudan.

2005, 2009. Principal Osteologist, Post-Collapse Transformations in Late Prehispanic Nasca, directed by Dr. Christina Conlee (Texas State University, San Marcos), Nasca, Peru.

2003. Principal Osteologist, Merowe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project, Sudan

2001. Principal Osteologist, Dayton Canyon site, Canoga Park, CA for SWCA Environmental Consultants

1996-1998. Osteologist. Lake Barrington and Chicago, IL for Midwest Archaeological Research Services, Inc.