James Bindon, Professor Emeritus

I studied a variety of biological outcomes among Samoans such as infant and childhood health and growth, adult obesity and blood pressure, DNA polymorphisms and physique, and chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I related these health outcomes to residence in different communities, diet and activity patterns, education and occupation, and stress due to changing lifestyles as a result of modernization and migration (see several of the papers listed below for details). I also conducted similar research on biocultural aspects of health among the Mississippi Choctaw, in an African-American population in Alabama and among hotel workers in Hawaii.  For the past decade plus, I have been reading and teaching about all aspects of race: origins of the concept, misapplications to humans especially in the U.S., genetics and race, etc.

Richard Diehl, Professor Emeritus

Richard Diehl is a Mesoamerican archaeologist. He received his education from William T. Sanders and Paul T. Baker, who taught him cultural ecology, cultural evolution, and the centrality of field research to all good anthropology. Diehl’s research has focused on the pre-Columbian cultures of central Mexico and the Olmec culture of the tropical lowlands of the Mexican Gulf coast (see Olmec head in photo to the right). His field research includes projects at Tula, San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán Matacapan, Kaminaljuyu, and La Mojarra, settlement pattern surveys in the Basin of Mexico, and ethnographic research on contemporary settlement patterns in the Basin of Mexico and peasant agriculture in the tropical lowlands of Veracruz.

Vernon James Knight, Professor Emeritus

(205) 348-2026 |

Knight’s interests include the origin and development of complex societies, the archaeology of social organization and religion, and archaeological approaches to iconography. His work particularly concerns the late prehistoric, early historic, and colonial periods of the Southeast and Caribbean, with emphasis on ethnohistorical reconstruction. Knight believes that graduates of a course of study in anthropological archaeology should be at home in the field, in the laboratory, in the classroom, and in the museum. He views his role in graduate training as primarily one of developing the student’s research competence, both through guiding their mastery of published scholarship and through providing opportunities for practical experience. He serves with the Museum of Natural History as Curator of Southeastern Archaeology.

Richard Krause, Professor Emeritus

He has conducted field research in the Great Plains of North America, Alaska, South Africa, Yucatán and the Southeastern United States. His primary interests include ethnoarchaeology, pottery manufacture and use from both ethnographic and archaeological perspectives, the articulation of mid-range theory with field and laboratory research and the epistemological precision of basic units of analysis, classification, and interpretation.

Michael D. Murphy, Professor Emeritus

24C ten Hoor Hall | 205-348-1953 |

Since 1984 Dr. Murphy has been studying Andalusian Marianism with a field research focus on the pilgrimage to La Virgen del Rocio, a statue of the Virgin Mary whose shrine is located in the marshlands of the Guadalquivir River. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with Dr. Juan Carlos González Faraco of the Universidad de Huelva. The two have also investigated the round up and drive of horses from the marshes of Doñana National Park to the Andalusian town of Almonte. In addition to its continuing importance as a venerable local cultural practice, the annual round-up of marsh mares constitutes the last remnant of the Spanish equestrian and livestock cultural complex that directly inspired the free-range ranching traditions of the gaucho, the vaquero, and the cowboy of the Western Hemisphere.

Margaret Searcy, Emeritus Faculty

Joseph Vogel, Professor Emeritus