Sharon Moses, PhD

Sharon Moses Assistant Professor
Northern Arizona University
Blg 70 Rm #1B
Phone: 928-523-1249


  • Forensic Archaeology
  • Neolithic (Old World)
  • Symbolism
  • Religion, ritual, sacred landscapes
  • Native American topics
  • Gender
  • Children and childhood
  • Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations
  • Historical Archaeology (Old and New World)
  • Figurines
  • Children's material culture
  • US Southeast Plantation Archaeology


  • BA, Journalism, Native American Honors Project; Sociology minor – University of Montana
  • MA, Cultural Anthropology - University of Montana
  • MA, Archaeology - Cornell University
  • PhD, Anthropology/Archaeology concentration - Cornell University (2009)

Dr. Moses received her PhD from Cornell University where she was an NSF Pre-doctoral Fellow as well as the recipient of the Cornell SAGE Full Ride Fellowship for the Anthropology graduate program. Her dissertation work was based upon on the child burials, rituals and other activities associated with children in the creation of sacred spaces in and outside of household dwellings at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey.  Her work was conducted under the direction of Prof. Nerissa Russell (Cornell University) and under the auspices of Prof. Ian Hodder (Stanford University), Director of the Çatalhöyük Archaeological Project.
Dr. Moses is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and an associate faculty member of the Women and Gender Studies program at NAU.  She is working to develop an applied archaeology trajectory in forensics for students who plan to enhance their undergraduate and/or graduate plans with this emphasis.  Dr. Moses has assisted law enforcement as a consultant and as a forensic archaeologist in criminal cases and in missing-persons body recovery cases.  She is a member of FAR (Forensic Archaeology Recovery), a non-profit organization that seeks to address humanitarian concerns and body recoveries of mass fatality, missing persons, criminal cases, and civil rights cases in the United States and around the globe.  FAR was implemented in the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the Saddam Hussein mass burial/human rights violations evidence collection and The Station 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island where the band, Great White, experienced a pyrotechnic disaster that claimed the lives of 100 people.
Dr. Moses is a registered professional archaeologist; her current research project is located at the former Hume Plantation located in South Carolina where she is the Primary Investigator.  She is investigating the site’s slave quarter, African and Native American slave folk magic, ritual practices, and use of sacred objects buried among the slave cabins and other activity areas.  She is interested in the intersection of these activities with childhood, gender, and identity formation during the pre-Civil War through Emancipation era to early 20th century, as social constructions changed drastically among during this chaotic historical period.  Dr. Moses is working to establish the site as an historical archaeological field school for NAU undergraduate and graduate students.
Selected Publications:

Forthcoming 2015     “From Playthings to Sacred Objects?: Household Enculturation Rituals through Plastering Activities at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey,” in Archaeology of Childhood, Güner Coşkunsu (editor), SUNY Press, Buffalo, New York.  Peer Reviewed

2012      Sociopolitical Implications of Neolithic Foundation Deposits and the Possibility of Child Sacrifice: A Case Study at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, pp 57-88 in Sacred Killing: The Archaeology of Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East.  Anne Porter and Glenn Schwartz (eds). Eisenbrauns: Winona Lake, Indiana.  Peer Reviewed

2012      Indigenous Dolls and Figurines: Where Sacred and Social Worlds Merge, in The Intellectual and Spiritual Expression of Non-Literate Societies.  Proceedings of the XVI World Congress of the International Union of Prehistoric and Proto-historic Sciences, Florianopolis, Brazil, 4-10 September 2011, Volume 1. Emmanuel Anati, Luiz Oosterbeek, Federico Mailland (eds).  British Archaeological Reports (BAR) S2360 2012, Archaeopress, UK   Peer Reviewed

2012      Review: Visualizing the Sacred: Cosmic Visions, Regionalism and the Art of the Mississippian World. George E. Lankford, F. Kent Reilly III and James F. Garber (eds.) University of Texas Press, Austin.

 2011      Ethnohistorical Archaeology: Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center and the Hume Slave Street Research Project in South Carolina Antiquities: Notes from the Field. Vol. 43: 81-82

 2008      Çatalhöyük’s Foundation Burials: Ritual Child Sacrifice or Convenient Deaths? In Proceedings of the XV World Congress UISPP: Babies Reborn: Infant/Child Burials in Pre- and Protohistory. Krum Bacvarov (ed.), Cover Illustration also by Sharon K. Moses;  Lisbon 4-9, September 2006; Vol 24, Oxford: British Archaeological Reports (BAR) International Series #1832.

 2006     Children and Childhood in Tradition and Ritual at Çatalhöyük in Topraktan Sonsuzluğa – From Earth to Eternity. Pp 179-184, Yapi Kredi Cultural Activities, Arts & Publishing, Istanbul Museum Special Exhibits Publication. 

 2004      Children of Neolithic Çatalhöyük.  2004 Catalhoyuk Project Archive Report, Article illustrated by author.

 1998      Effects of Dominant Hegemony on the Ethnogenesis of Contemporary Native American Identity. Northwest Anthropological Research Notes, Vol. 32, No. 2, Pp. 163-172.  Peer Reviewed