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Sylvia Cheever

Graduate Student (Bioarchaeology; Andean archaeology; biosocial determinants of health)


Bioarchaeology; Andean archaeology; biosocial determinants of health; paleopathology; North American archaeology

Sylvia Cheever began her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt in 2020. She obtained her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2018. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Sylvia worked as a Bioarchaeological Research Associate with the Center for American Archeology for two years, and as assistant staff for the Proyecto Arqueológico Corral Redondo based out of Iquipi, Peru since 2018. She has also worked with the bioarchaeological collections at the Field Museum in Chicago. Sylvia's pursuit of a career in bioarchaeology is influenced by a desire to promote health and body equity she developed through years of public health education work in Chicago. She believes that studying embodied health experience in archaeological communities removed from a western, clinical context allows for the critical examination of modern conceptualizations of the body, emphasizing biases inherent in Western policies and political systems, and allowing for the diversification of existing definitions of health and wellness.

Sylvia's graduate research utilizes bioarchaeological, archaeological, and biogeochemical data and methodologies to explore health disparity and change during periods of pre-Columbian imperial transition and expansion in the Peruvian Andes. She is also interested in applications of both epigenetics research and 3D imaging in bioarchaeological contexts and hopes to further incorporate both into her graduate work at Vanderbilt