Matthew Velasco

Assistant Professor

Department and Program Affiliations:

Academic focus:
Bioarchaeology, Andean South America, human skeletal analysis, health, social identity, body modification, mortuary practice

Current research project:
My current project explores how the creation of new social identities during a time of conflict and political turmoil in the late prehispanic Andes (A.D. 1100-1450) shaped life experiences of health, violence, and social privilege. I am also interested in how these patterns change in the wake of Inka imperial expansion in the 15th century.

Previous positions:
Mellon Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, 2016-2017
Instructor of Record, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, 2015

Academic background:
Ph.D., Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, 2016
M.A., Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, 2011
B.A., Anthropological sciences, Stanford University, 2008

Last book read: 
"Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds" by Marisol de la Cadena

In your own time/when not working:
Wandering Brooktondale with our dog Jack, watching films and TV, anticipating the new Star Wars movie

Courses you are most looking forward to teaching:
Health and Disease in the Ancient World; Human Osteology (a laboratory-based course where students learn how to identify all 206 bones and 32 teeth of the human body)

What most excites you about Cornell:
Its long tradition in global research and engagement, and the opportunity to contribute to it