John W. Verano, Ph.D.

Department of Anthropology, Tulane University


I am a physical anthropologist who specializes in human skeletal biology, paleopathology, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology.  Currently I am a Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University, where I teach courses in human osteology, paleopathology, forensic anthropology, and the bioarchaeology of mummies.

My primary research area is Andean South America, with a particular focus on prehistoric populations of coastal and highland Peru.  My research interests include pathology in ancient skeletal and mummified remains, trepanation and other ancient surgery, warfare, human sacrifice, and mortuary practices (see Publications).    Over the years I have collaborated with  a number of  International and Peruvian archaeological projects, including the Pacatnamú Project (1983-87), the Proyecto Arqueológico Huaca Rajada/Sipán (1987-), the Proyecto Arqueológico Huaca de La Luna (1995-), the Proyecto Arqueológico Complejo El Brujo (1995-), the Proyecto Arqueológico Huarmey (2003-), Proyecto Arqueológico Pumapunku-Akapana (2006),

Proyecto Arqueológico Huari-Ancash (2011), and for the past six years the Proyecto Arqueológico Huanchaco (2014-2019) analyzing human skeletal and mummified remains recovered from their excavations, as well as assisting and directing the excavation of burials and sacrificial contexts (see Field Projects)

In the United States, I complement my South American research with forensic anthropology: assisting local, state, and federal law enforcement, coroners, and medical examiners in identifying and interpreting human skeletal remains from medico-legal contexts. 

(see Forensic Anthropology)