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Claire Auerbach

UGA Arch

I received my M.A. in anthropology from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2012, with a focus on bioarchaeology.  My husband and I moved to Athens in 2015, and we have two daughters and many animals. I have been working with The UGA Laboratory of Archaeology since early 2019, primarily conducting NAGPRA-related research. 

My specialization is ethnoarchaeology, and my region of focus is the southeastern United States. I am working under the advisement of Dr. Victor Thompson. My dissertation research will center on Native American perspectives regarding animal burials and their attendant mortuary practices in the southeastern United States. For this project, I will consult with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) to determine tribal preferences surrounding the disposition and repatriation of (non-human) animal remains housed at federally funded institutions. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) covers most materials related to Native American cultural heritage housed in federally funded institutions. The primary issue with NAGPRA, as it is currently written, is that there is a level of ambiguity relating to the coverage of certain materials (like animals). This research will provide better guidance for NAGPRA practices, specifically concerning the housing and repatriation of sacred animal burials and animal remains. 

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