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Sammantha Holder

UGA Arch
PhD Candidate

I am a biological anthropologist specializing in bioarchaeology. My research focuses on the intersections of diet and nutrition, health, and disease among ancient and living humans. I am interested in how social structures, individual choice and action, and evolutionary biology shape human diet and nutrition. For my dissertation research, I integrate social theory and stable isotope methodologies to reconstruct diet and nutrition among early 19th century Napoleonic and Russian soldiers to explore how imperialism and warfare shaped soldier biology. For a second collaborative project, my colleagues and I examine disease experiences over the life span of ancient Egyptians from the site of Dayr al Barsha.

I am also earning an Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching through the Graduate School and co-created the Gender, the Body, and Fieldwork Across Disciplines Symposium with Christina Crespo.


2013 Master of Arts, University of Central Florida, Department of Anthropology

2010 Bachelor of Arts, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Anthropology, Summa cum laude            Certificate: Conceptual Foundations of Medicine, Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Research Areas:
Research Interests:

Biological anthropology; bioarchaeology; diet and nutrition; imperialism and warfare; human-environment interactions; stable isotope analysis (SIA); human osteology; paleopathology; Europe; Egypt


Selected Publications:

Holder S, Miliauskienė Ž, Jankauskas R, Dupras TL. (In press). An Integrative Approach to Studying Plasticity in Growth Disruption and Outcomes: A Bioarchaeological Case Study of Napoleonic Soldiers. American Journal of Human Biology. DOI:10.1002/ajhb.23457

Holder S, Reitsema LJ, Dupras TL, Jankauskas R. (2020). In Flux: Exploring Hierarchy and Heterarchy in the Past through Diet. Vital Topics Forum of American Anthropologist 122(4):916-919. DOI: 10.1111/aman.13486

Reitsema LJ, Holder S. (2018). Stable Isotope Analysis and the Study of Human Stress, Disease, and Nutrition. Bioarchaeology International 2(2):63-74DOI: 10.5744/bi.2018.1018

Holder S, Dupras TL, Jankauskas R, Williams LJ, Schultz J. (2017). Reconstructing Diet in Napoleon’s Grand Army using Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163(1):53-63. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23184


2020, 2019, 2017 Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grants for Doctoral Students 

2019 Norman Herz Small Grants for Student Research 

2019, 2018 Brian Daniel Gumbert Archaeological Graduate Research Award

2018 Summer Research Travel Grant for Doctoral Students 

2017 The Graduate School Dean’s Award 

2017 Melissa Hague Field Study Award

2017 Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research 

Events featuring Sammantha Holder
Baldwin Hall 480 and via Zoom

Investigating the Differential Impact of European Imperialism on 19th century French and Russian Soldier Bodies

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