Clark Spencer Larsen

Clark Spencer Larsen

Clark Spencer Larsen

Distinguished University Professor

614 688-5776

053 Journalism Building
242 W 18th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

I am a biological anthropologist primarily interested in the history of the human condition, viewed from the perspective of health, quality of life, adaptation, and lifestyle during the last 10,000 years of human evolution. Central to this work is the bioarchaeology research at Çatalhöyük (Turkey), a large Neolithic settlement.   This enormous site is providing the opportunity to test hypotheses about the impact of urbanization, population agglomeration, and increased commitment to agriculture on health and quality of life.  The project is a part of an international archaeological research program directed by Ian Hodder (Stanford University).  I am also involved in the Global History of Health Project.  Results of the study of 18,000 skeletons from across Europe reveals significant changes in health and lifestyle, with results presented in The Backbone of Europe: Health, Diet, Work and Violence over Two Millennia (Richard H. Steckel, Clark Spencer Larsen, Charlotte A. Roberts, and Joerg Baten, editors, Cambridge University Press, 2019).  I am the author of Our Origins: Discovering Biological Anthropology, now in its fifth edition (W.W. Norton).

I am a committed teacher, at all levels of university education, from newly-matriculating freshman to Ph.D. candidates.  Many of these students work on class, independent study, thesis, and dissertation projects in the Bioarchaeology Research Laboratory on the Ohio State University campus.  I currently teach Human Osteology, Bioarchaeology, and various formal and informal seminars.   

How Epidemics End: Clark Larsen and Fabian Crespo on Biology, Archaeology, and Multi-disciplinary Ends
Professor Clark Larsen (The Ohio State) and Professor Fabian Crespo (Louisville) discuss with Professor Erica Charters (Oxford) how biology and archaeology measure the end of epidemics, including leprosy and plague, and why multi-disciplinary approaches that combine social and biological research are helpful in understanding how epidemics end.  How Epidemics End (Oxford): 

Clark Larsen’s research podcast:

Cozzarelli Prize:

Cozzarelli Prize, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article on health and lifestyle of the people who lived in one of the earliest cities in the world




Current Graduate Students

Barbara Betz (co-advisor with Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg)
Megan Duncanson
Leigh Oldershaw (co-advisor with Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg)

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Bioarchaeology Research Laboratory


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