Faculty/Staff Detail

Kent M. Johnson

I am a bioarchaeologist by training, which means I investigate past peoples and societies using human skeletal remains and the archaeological record. I primarily work in the south central Andes in present-day Peru and Chile, analyzing skeletal collections from populations affiliated with the pre-Hispanic Tiwanaku state. My focus is on the ways in which people come together and form groups, and I am particularly interested in kinship, family organization, and ethnic identity, and I investigate these topics using skeletal markers of biosocial relatedness and body modification using biodistance and network analytical techniques. Other topics of interest include dental morphological variation and the peopling of the Western Hemisphere. My research has been published in American Journal of Biological AnthropologyJournal of Archaeological ResearchInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Dental Anthropology Journal, and in edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Florida University Press, Springer, and Wiley Blackwell. My chapter "Biodistance Networks" was published in January 2024 in the Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Network Research.


PhD in Anthropology, Arizona State University

MA in Anthropology, CalStateLA

BA in Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara


ANT 104 – Intro to Biological Anthropology

ANT/CRM 206 – Intro to Forensic Anthropology

ANT 325 – Archaeology of Death

ANT 411 – Human Osteology

ANT/CRM 412 – Advanced Forensic Anthropology


KM Johnson. (In press). Intimate relationships – kinship. Invited contribution for the edited volume A Cultural History of Gender, vol. I: A Cultural History of Gender in Early Civilizations (<800CE), D Candelora, S Steadman, eds.

KM Johnson. (2024). Biodistance networks. In: The Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Network Research, T Brughmans, BJ Mills, J Munson, MA Peeples, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

KM Johnson. (2020). Exploring family, ethnic, and regional identities among Tiwanaku-affiliated communities in Moquegua, Peru. In: Bioarchaeology and Identity Revisited, KJ Knudson, CM Stojanowski, eds. University Press of Florida. pp. 20-55.

KM Johnson. (2019). Opening up the family tree: promoting more diverse and inclusive studies of family, kinship, and relatedness in bioarchaeology. In: JE Buikstra, ed. Bioarchaeologists Speak Out: Contemporary Issues, Deep Time Perspectives. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Press. pp. 201-230.

CM Stojanowski, AC Seidel, LC Fulginiti, KM Johnson, JE Buikstra. (2016). Contesting the massacre at Nataruk. Nature 539:E8-E10 (doi:10.1038/nature19778).

KM Johnson, KS Paul. (2016). Bioarchaeology and kinship: Integrating theory, social relatedness, and biology in ancient family research. Journal of Archaeological Research 24:75-123.

CM Stojanowski, KM Johnson, KS Paul, CL Carver. (2016). Indicators of idiosyncratic behavior in the dentition. In JD Irish, GR Scott, eds. A Companion to Dental Anthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell. pp. 377-395.

CM Stojanowski, KM Johnson. (2015). Observer error, dental wear and the inference of New World sundadonty. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156:349-362.

CM Stojanowski, KM Johnson, WN Duncan. (2013). Geographic patterns of early Holocene New World dental morphological variation. Dental Anthropology Journal 26:7-15.

CM Stojanowski, KM Johnson, WN Duncan. Sinodonty and beyond: hemispheric, regional, and intracemetery approaches to studying dental morphological variation in the New World. (2013). In GR Scott, JD Irish, eds. Anthropological Perspectives on Tooth Morphology: Genetics, Evolution, Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 408-452.

KM Johnson, CM Stojanowski, KO Miyar, GH Doran, RA Ricklis. (2011). New evidence on the spatiotemporal distribution and evolution of the Uto-Aztecan premolar. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146:474-480.

CM Stojanowski, KM Johnson. (2011). Labial canine talon cusp from the early Holocene site of Gobero, Central Sahara Desert, Niger. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 21:391-406.


2021 Faculty Research Program in Social Sciences Grant Program for “A non-racial method for estimating biogeographic ancestry in forensic anthropology”, Research and Sponsored Programs Office, SUNY Cortland ($2963)

2018 Faculty Research Program in Social Sciences Grant for “Investigating biosocial interactions in the periphery of the pre-Hispanic Tiwanaku state”, Research and Sponsored Programs Office, SUNY Cortland ($3000)

2014-2016 National Science Foundation, Archaeology Section, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant No. 1441894: A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Family during Periods of Sociopolitical Decentralization, $26,966 (PI: Jane Buikstra, Co-PIs: Kent Johnson and Christopher Stojanowski).

2012-2013  Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program, California State University, Mini Grant ($1935)

2010-2011  Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program, California State University, Mini Grant ($2441)


Google Scholar - https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=N6eeeUAAAAAJ

ResearchGate - https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kent-Johnson-3

Academia.edu - https://cortland.academia.edu/KentJohnson