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Department of Anthropology


Carlina Maria De La Cova

Title: Associate Professor
Undergraduate Director
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-2957
Office: Gambrell Hall 409
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Carlina Maria De La Cova


A native of Florida, Dr. de la Cova received her Ph.D. in 2008 from Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to joining the department, de la Cova taught at Indiana University and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She became a member of the anthropology department in 2011 and is currently an Associate Professor. Apart from her academic interests, de la Cova is an avid Sherlockian, which is reflected in her ANTH 362 Forensics of Sherlock Holmes course. She is also a Deputy Coroner for the Richland County Coroner’s Office in Columbia, South Carolina. 


ANTH 161 Human Origins

ANTH 221 The Forensics of Sherlock Holmes

ANTH 263 Medical Experimentation and the Black Body

ANTH 366 Medicine, Disease, and Slavery

ANTH 561 Human Osteology

ANTH 565 Health and Disease in the Past

Graduate Students:

Elizabeth Wakefield

Kristina Zarenko


Dr. de la Cova’s cross-disciplinary work analyzes the biological and skeletal impact of social marginalization, incorporating methods from biological anthropology, history, sociology, cultural anthropology, public health, and medicine. Her research program, which is reflected in her publications, examines skeletal health disparities amongst African American and Euro-American indigents born during the Antebellum (1822-1860), Civil War (1861-1865), and Reconstruction (1866-1877) time periods, focusing on the relationship between race, culture, socioeconomic status, environment, migration, social marginalization and salubrity. Her current projects focus on the biological impact of the Great Migration, institutionalization, and social marginalization, as well as the social origins of anatomical collections and the social stigma of dissection.

Representative Publications 


In prep. de la Cova C. Skeletal Voices: Race, Interpersonal Violence, and Institutionalization. New York: Springer Press. 

Referred Articles and Chapters:

Forthcoming Stevens W, de la Cova C, Young C, Judge C. “A law school with no books is easier to operate than a medical school with no cadavers”: Skeletal Remains from the School of Anatomy, DeSaussure College, University of South Carolina. IN SC Hodge, KA Shuler (eds.) Bioarchaeology of the Southeast: Bridging Bones and Behavior. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 

Forthcoming Muller JL, Pearlstein KE, de la Cova C. Dissection and Documented Skeletal Collections. In K Nystrom (ed.) Bioarchaeology of Dissection. New York: Springer. 

2015 de la Cova C. The Retromolar Space: The Retromolar Space: A Morphological Curiosity Observed Amongst the Protohistoric Arikara and Mandan. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2451  (in Early View online). 

2014 de la Cova C. The biological effects of urbanization and in-migration on 19th-century-born African Americans and Euro-Americans of low socioeconomic status: An anthropological and historical approach. In M. K. Zuckerman (ed.), Are Modern Environments Bad for Human Health? Revisiting the Second Epidemiological Transition. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. 

2012 de la Cova C. Trauma Patterns in 19th-Century-Born African American and Euro-American Females. International Journal of Paleopathology 2 (2–3): 61–68. 

2011 de la Cova C. Race, health, and disease in 19th-century-born males. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144 (4): 526–537. 

2010 de la Cova C. Cultural Patterns of Trauma among 19th-Century-Born Males in Cadaver Collections. American Anthropologist 112(4): 589–606. Republished in 2013 in “Violence: Anthropologists Engaging Violence, 1980-2012,” in American Anthropologist Virtual Issue edited by Virginia R. Dominguez, Online. ISSN: 1548-1433.

Recent Accomplishments 

Provost Social Science Grant, “Embodying trauma and disease in 19th-century-born African American and Euro-American females in cadaver collections, $18,848 

Provost Distributed Learning Grant to create an online version of ANTH 367 Basic Forensic Anthropology, $7944 

Collaborator with John Gerdes, Jr., PI, ASPIRE III, 3-D Modeling Service Bureau Grant. Award allowed for the purchase of 3D printers to use for research purposes, $99,993 

Co-PI with Charles Cobb, PI, and Sharon DeWitte, Co-PI, Visiting Scholar Grant, “Building Collaborations in Bioarchaeology and Physical Anthropology,” $7600

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.