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Effective January 15, 2020, Erica will be serving as program director for Arctic Social Sciences at the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, VA. While she maintains her employment with UAS, she is not currently teaching any courses or accepting any advisees. She can be reached via her UAS email.

Erica Hill, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology 
Arts and Sciences - Social Sciences


907-796-6406 (Fax)

Soboleff Bldg 217, Juneau Campus



Erica received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1999. She has archaeological excavation experience in Alaska, Florida, the Southwest, Mexico, Peru, and the Russian Far East and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Honduras.


Erica is a broadly trained archaeologist with research interests in Peru and the Arctic. She received her B.A. from the University of Florida, and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She has excavation experience in Alaska, Florida, the Southwest U.S, Mexico, Peru, and the Russian Far East and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Honduras.

Erica is interested in ancient belief systems and cosmology, especially the cross-cultural study of funerary ritual and sacrifice. Her work in Peru focuses on iconography and burial evidence of the Moche, a pre-Inca culture of the Pacific coast of South America. (Selected publications on the Moche)

More recently, Erica’s work has focused on the prehistory of human–animal relations in the Bering Sea region. She is particularly interested in how approaches from animal geography can be applied to archaeological evidence. (Selected publications on human–animal relations.)

Erica is the editor of Iñupiaq Ethnohistory: Selected Essays by Ernest S. Burch, Jr. (2013) and co-editor, with Jon B. Hageman, of The Archaeology of Ancestors: Death, Memory and Veneration (2016).

As a 2016–2017 Fulbright–NSF Arctic Research Scholar, Erica spent a semester at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik studying the Icelandic language and researching the use of horses in Viking Age burial practices.

Many of Erica’s publications are available at and at ScholarWorks@UA.

Selected Publications on the Moche

2016    Identifying the Revered Dead in Moche Iconography, pp. 189–212 in Erica Hill and Jon B. Hageman, eds. The Archaeology of Ancestors: Death, Memory and Veneration. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

2013   Death, Emotion, and the Household among the Late Moche of Peru. In The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial, edited by Sarah Tarlow and Liv Nilsson Stutz, pp. 597–616. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

2008   Animism and Sacrifice: Reconstructing Moche Religion through Architecture, Iconography, and Archaeological Features. In Religion in the Material World, edited by Lars Fogelin, pp. 38–60. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL.

2006    Moche Skulls in Cross-Cultural Perspective, pp. 91–100 in Michelle Bonogofsky, ed. Skull Collection, Modification and Decoration. British Archaeology Reports (BAR) International Series 1539. Oxford, Archaeopress.

2003    Sacrificing: Moche Bodies, Journal of Material Culture 8(3):285–299.

2000    The Embodied Sacrifice, Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10(2):307–316.

1998    Death as a Rite of Passage: The Iconography of the Moche Burial Theme, Antiquity 72(277):528–538.


Selected Publications on Human–Animal Relations

2013    Archaeology and Animal Persons: Toward a Prehistory of Human-Animal Relations, Environment &Society: Advances in Research 4:117–136.

2012    The Nonempirical Past: Enculturated Landscapes and Other-than-Human Persons in Southwest Alaska. Arctic Anthropology 49(2):41–57.

2011    Animals as Agents: Hunting Ritual and Relational Ontologies in Prehistoric Alaska and Chukotka. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21(3):407–426.


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