Teaching Assistant Professor

Email: hiltonch(@)email.unc.edu



Ph.D., Biological Anthropology, University of New Mexico, 1997
M.P.H., Epidemiology, University of Michigan, 2013

Research Interests:

  • Human evolutionary anatomy
  • Postcranial evolution of the genus Homo
  • Hunter-gatherer and pastoralist behavioral ecology
  • Human paleopathology
  • Epidemiology

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Modern Human Foragers
  • Human Variation
  • Human Population Biology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Human Osteology
  • Human Evolution

Personal Statement:

My research is prompted by a desire to understand how small-scale human societies develop and evolve both short- and long-term biological and cultural responses to environmental settings that appear to offer limited resources.  Thus, I have a strong interest in the relationships between human biology, health, subsistence, subsistence-related habitual workloads, and cultural change in living and prehistoric hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, and the earliest agriculturalists. I have addressed these research interests in the context of studies associated with archaeology in the Prehispanic American Southwest, bio-behavioral fieldwork among Venezuelan hunter-gatherers, extensive analyses of the skeletal remains of Neandertal fossils and prehistoric modern human foragers, collaborative bioarchaeological excavations with northern Kenyan pastoralists, and our recent fieldwork (with Prof. Bilinda Straight, Western Michigan Univ.) investigating health and morbidity among Samburu pastoralists. Our more recent fieldwork is focused on examining the epigenetic effects on children of maternal in utero stress associated with a recent severe drought.


  • The Foragers of Point Hope: The Biology and Archaeology of Humans on the Edge of the Alaskan Arctic. (with B. M. Auerbach and L. Cowgill, Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  • From Biped to Strider: The Emergence of Modern Human Walking, Running, and Resource Transport. (with J. D. Meldrum, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 2004).


I. L. Pike, C. E. Hilton, M. Öesterle, and O. Olungah. 2018. Low-intensity violence and the social determinants of adolescent health among three East African pastoralist communities. Social Science & Medicine, 202: 117-127.

B. Straight, P. Lane, C. E. Hilton, and M. Letua. 2016. “Dust People”: Samburu perspectives on disaster, identity, and resilience. Journal of Eastern African Studies 10 (1):168-188. DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2016.1138638.

I. L. Pike, B. Straight, C. E. Hilton, and M. Öesterle. 2016. Comparative nutritional indicators as markers for resilience: A case study of the impacts of low-intensity violence among three pastoralist communities of northern Kenya. Journal of Eastern African Studies. 10 (1):150-167. DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2016.1138657.

B. S. Straight, P. Lane, C. E. Hilton and M. Letua. 2015. “It was Maendeleo that removed them”: Reciprocal Knowledge Production in an Archaeological Ethnography of Landscape. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 21 (2): 391-418. DOI:10.1111/1467-9655.12212.

B.S. Straight, I. L. Pike, C. E. Hilton, and M. Öesterle. 2014. Suicide in Three East African Pastoralist Communities and the Role of Researcher Outsiders for Positive Transformation: A Case Study. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. DOI 10.1007/s11013-014-9417-

M. D. Ogilvie and C. E. Hilton. 2011. Cross-sectional geometry in the humeri of foragers and farmers from the Prehispanic American Southwest: Exploring patterns in the sexual division of labor.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144: 11-21.

I. L. Pike, B. S. Straight, C. E. Hilton, M. Osterle, and A. Lanyasunya.  2010. Documenting the health consequences of endemic warfare in three pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya: a conceptual framework. Special Issue: Violence, Conflict, and Health. Social Science & Medicine 70 (1): 45-52.

T. W. Holliday and C. E. Hilton2010. Body proportions of circumpolar peoples as evidenced from skeletal data: Ipiutak and Tigara (Point Hope) versus Kodiak Island Inuit.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 142: 287-302.

C. E. Hilton and R. D. Greaves.  2008. Seasonality and sex differences in travel distance and resource transport in Venezuelan foragers.  Current Anthropology 49 (1): 144-153.

M. D. Ogilvie and C. E. Hilton2000. Ritualized violence in the prehistoric American Southwest.  International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 10: 27-48.

M. D. Ogilvie, C. E. Hilton, and C. D. Ogilvie. 1998. Lumbar anomalies in the Shanidar 3 Neandertal. Journal of Human Evolution. 35: 597-610. doi:10.1006/jhev.1998.0249.

E. Trinkaus and C. E. Hilton. 1996. Neandertal pedal proximal phalanges: Diaphyseal loading patterns. Journal of Human Evolution. 30: 399-425. doi:10.1006/jhev.1996.0035.