Faculty & Staff

Charles E. Hilton

Charles Hilton

Visiting Assistant Professor
Biological Anthropology
Ph.D. University of New Mexico, 1997
M.P.H., University of Michigan, 2013
Email: cehilton@uncg.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Human evolutionary anatomy
  • Postcranial evolution of the genus Homo
  • Hunter-gatherer and pastoralist behavioral ecology
  • Human paleopathology
  • Epidemiology

Courses Taught

  • ATY 253: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • ATY 258: Introduction to Archaeology through World Prehistory
  • ATY 340: North American Archaeology
  • ATY 359: Forensic Anthropology
  • ATY 553:  Human Osteology

Personal Statement

My research is prompted by a desire to understand how small-scale human societies develop and evolve both short- and long-term biological and cultural responses to environmental settings that appear to offer limited resources.  Thus, I have a strong interest in the relationships between human biology, subsistence, subsistence-related habitual workloads, health, and cultural change in hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, and the earliest agriculturalists.  I have addressed these questions in the context of cultural research among Oklahoma Native Americans, archaeology in the Prehispanic American Southwest, behavioral ecology fieldwork among Venezuelan hunter-gatherers, extensive analyses of the skeletal remains of fossil and prehistoric human foragers, collaborative bioarchaeological excavations with Samburu pastoralists in Kenya, and recent fieldwork investigating health and morbidity within northern Kenyan pastoralist groups.  More recently, I am examining how health, disease burdens, and health disparities within such small-scale human societies are impacted by aspects of marginalization and political ecology. 


  • The Foragers of Point Hope: The Biology and Archaeology of Humans on the Edge of the Alaskan Arctic.  (with B. M. Auerbach and L. Cowgill, Cambridge University Press, in press - 2013).
  • From Biped to Strider: The Emergence of Modern Human Walking, Running, and Resource Transport.  (with J. D. Meldrum, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 2004).


  • M. D. Ogilvie and C. E. Hilton. (2011) Cross-sectional geometry in the humeri of foragers and farmers from the Prehispanic American Southwest: Exploring patterns in the sexual division of labor.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144: 11-21. (view PDF)
  • I. L. Pike, B. S. Straight, C. E. Hilton, M. Osterle, and A. Lanyasunya.  (2010) Documenting the health consequences of endemic warfare in three pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya: a conceptual framework. Special Issue: Violence, Conflict, and Health. Social Science & Medicine 70 (1): 45-52. (view PDF)
  • T. W. Holliday and C. E. Hilton.  (2010) Body proportions of circumpolar peoples as evidenced from skeletal data: Ipiutak and Tigara (Point Hope) versus Kodiak Island Inuit.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 142: 287-302. (view PDF)
  • C. E. Hilton and R. D. Greaves.  (2008) Seasonality and sex differences in travel distance and resource transport in Venezuelan foragers.  Current Anthropology 49 (1): 144-153. (view PDF)
  • M. D. Ogilvie and C. E. Hilton.  (2000) Ritualized violence in the prehistoric American Southwest.  International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 10: 27-48.

Current Projects

I am a collaborator on four current research projects related to biological adaptations, health, morbidity, and cultural buffering among hunter-gatherers and pastoralists.  The first examines biological evidence for cold adaptations in the 480+ precontact Arctic forager skeletons (at the American Museum of Natural History) from Point Hope, Alaska.  The second, with Dr. Marsha Ogilvie, is a comprehensive bioarchaeological investigation of cultural and biological adaptive variation in foragers of the Lower Pecos cultural region of the west Texas Chihuahuan desert during the Archaic Period.  I collaborate with Professors Bilinda Straight (Western Michigan Univ.) and Paul Lane (York University, UK), on a multidisciplinary project examining the evolution of pastoralism in northern Kenya.  Since 2008, I have participated on a National Science Foundation project, co-directed by Professors B. Straight (WMU) and Ivy Pike (Univ. of Arizona), examining the impact on health of chronic low-intensity violence associated with livestock raiding among northern Kenyan pastoralists.

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