Tammy Buonasera

Tammy Buonasera, Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Arizona, 2013.TB

Phone: 907-474-6758
Office: Bunnell Building 307C
Email: tybuonasera@alaska.edu



Biomolecular archaeology (proteomics, lipid analysis, and stable isotopes), past diets and health, economic and social aspects of food processing technologies, hunter-gatherer archaeology, experimental archaeology, gender, human behavioral ecology, California,  northern Alaska, Anatolia.


I am anthropologist who specializes in biomolecular archaeology and experimental archaeology. I use a range of biomolecular techniques, as well as stable isotopes to study lifestyles of hunter-gatherers in the past—the recent past as well as many thousands of years ago. Some of my research uses biomolecules, like lipids, to learn what foods people cooked in pots or in hearth features. Much of my recent research has focused on proteomic-based sex-estimation in combination with stable isotope analysis to learn about patterns of weaning, health, and mortality among archaeologically known hunter-gatherers in California.
I am also broadly interested in experimental archaeology and in combining studies of food processing technologies such as ceramics, ground stone tools, and cooking features (often associated with women) with insights gained through molecular archaeology. Together these analyses can provide new possibilities for learning about women’s economic and social lives in the past. I have worked in California, the southwestern U.S., northwestern Alaska, and Anatolia.

Courses Offered:

  • Introduction to Anthropology (ANTH 101)
  • Race and Anthropology (ANTH 225)
  • Experimental Archaeology (ANTH 492/692)
  • Seminar in Archaeology (ANTH 492/692)
  • Proteomics in Archaeology (ANTH 697)

Selected Works:

Buonasera, T., Damick, A., Shoup, D.
2023     Not up in smoke: Lipid and phytolith evidence for the function of combustion features at CA-ALA-11, a San Francisco Bay area shellmound, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 51:104133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2023.104133

Buonasera, T., Eerkens, J., Byrd, B., Engbring, L., Arellano, M., Leventhal, A., Parker, G.
2022     Sex-Biased Differences in Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy at a Protohistoric Native American Village in Central California. Human Biology. In Press for a special edition on collaborative research with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area of California. https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol_preprints/200/

Buonasera, T., Eerkens, J. de Flamingh, A., Engbring, L. Yip, J., Li, H., Haas, R., DiGiuseppe, D., Grant, D., Salemi, M., Nijmeh, C., Arellano, M., Leventhal, A., Phinney, B., Byrd, B., Malhi, R., Parker, G.
2020     A Comparison of Proteomic, Genomic, and Osteological Methods of Archaeological Sex Estimation. Scientific Reports 10:11897. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68550-w

Haas, R., Watson, J., Buonasera, T., Southon, J., Chen, J.C., Noe, S., Smith, K., Llave, C.V., Eerkens, J. and Parker, G.
2020     Female Hunters of the Early Americas. Science Advances 6(45) p.eabd0310. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd0310

Buonasera, T.
2019     Benefits of Big Mortars: Considering Performance Characteristics and Economic Trade-offs of Women’s Technology. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 39(2):161-179.

Buonasera, T., Herrera-Herrera, A.V., Mallol, C.
2019     Experimentally Derived Sedimentary, Molecular, and Isotopic Characteristics of Bone-Fueled Hearths. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 26: 1327-1375. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-019-09411-3

Anderson, S., Tushingham, S., and Buonasera, T.
2017     Aquatic Adaptations and the Adoption of Arctic Ceramic Technology: Results of Residue Analysis. American Antiquity 82(3):452-479. https://doi.org/10.1017/aaq.2017.8

Buonasera, T.
2016     Lipid Preservation in Sheltered Bedrock Features at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico. Journal of Lithic Studies 3:1-24. https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v3i3.1304

Buonasera, T.Y., Tremayne, A.H., Darwent, C.M., Eerkens, J.W., Mason, O.K.
2015     Lipid Biomarkers and Compound Specific δ13C Analysis Indicate Early Development of a Dual- Economic System for the Arctic Small Tool tradition in Northern Alaska. Journal of Archaeological Science 61:129-138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.05.011

Buonasera, T.
2015     Modeling the Costs and Benefits of Manufacturing Expedient Milling Tools. Journal of Archaeological Science 57:335-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.03.018

Buonasera, T.
2013     More than Acorns and Small Seeds: A Diachronic Analysis of Mortuary Associated Ground Stone from the South San Francisco Bay Area. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32(2):190-211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2013.01.003