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College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Sharon DeWitte

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-6940
Office: Gambrell Hall, 410
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Anthropology


Dr. DeWitte is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. She earned her PhD in anthropology, with a focus on biological anthropology, at the Pennsylvania State University in 2006. She came to USC in 2011 after having been an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and a member of the Human Biology Program at the University at Albany, SUNY.


ANTH 561 Human Osteology

ANTH 761 Bioarchaeological Principles

ANTH 762 Biological Anthropology Principles and Theory

BIOL 243 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

BIOL 244 Human Anatomy and Physiology II


Dr. DeWitte is a biological anthropologist with research interests in bioarchaeology, paleodemography, and paleoepidemiology. She applies hazard modeling to address issues of heterogeneous frailty and selective mortality in past populations, and has examined risks of mortality during the medieval Black Death, in post-Conquest Roman Britain, in medieval monastic communities, and in Industrial-era London. Her research has primarily focused on uncovering variation in risk of mortality during the Black Death and the health and demographic consequences of the epidemic.

Selected recent publications:

DeWitte SN. 2016. Archaeological evidence of epidemics can inform future epidemics. Annual Review of Anthropology 45: 63-77.

DeWitte S, Kurth M, Allen C, and Linkov I. 2016. Disease epidemics: lessons for resilience in an increasingly connected world. Journal of Public Health doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdw044.

Yaussy SL, DeWitte SN, and Redfern RC. 2016. Frailty and famine: Patterns of mortality and physiological stress among victims of famine in medieval London. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 160:272-283.

DeWitte SN, Hughes-Morey G, Bekvalac J, and Karsten J. 2016. Wealth, health, and frailty in Industrial-era London. Annals of Human Biology 43:241-54.

DeWitte SN. 2015. Setting the stage for medieval plague: pre-Black Death trends in survival and mortality. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 158:441-451.

DeWitte SN, and Stojanowski CM. 2015. The Osteological Paradox twenty years later: past perspectives, future directions. Journal of Archaeological Research 23:397-450.

DeWitte SN. 2014. Health in post-Black Death London (1350-1538): Age patterns of periosteal new bone formation in a post-epidemic population. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 155:260-267.

Recent Accomplishments 

National Science Foundation: "SBE-RCUK: Diet, Migration, and Health in the Context of Medieval Mortality Crises." PI, with Julia Beaumont and Janet Montgomery (BCS-1722491), 2017-2020

The Wenner-Gren Foundation Post-PhD Research Grant: “Diet and Health in the Context of Medieval Mortality Crises.” PI (#9229). 2016-2018