The Phillip Walker papers document his research and professional activities from 1969-2008 and primarily deal with his bioarchaeological research in California and his studies of primate feeding behavior and dentition. His involvement in issues surrounding the repatriation of Native American human remains, forensic work for public agencies dealing with human remains, and writings are also represented. The collection consists of research and project files, raw data and analysis, graphs and illustrations, photographs, and dental impressions.
Scope and Contents:
The Phillip Walker papers document his research and professional activities from 1969-2008 and undated and primarily deal with with his bioarchaeological research in California and his studies of primate feeding behavior and dentition. The collection consists of research and project files, raw data and analysis, graphs and illustrations, photographs, x-rays, and dental impressions.
Material documenting his involvement in issues surrounding the repatriation of human skeletal remains, forensic work for public agencies, and writings are also represented. There is limited material regarding the courses he taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his other research on pinniped butchering methods, an archaeological project in Mosfell, Iceland, and a project in the Aral Sea region.
This collection is arranged in 7 series: Series 1. California projects and research, 1969-2003, undated; Series 2. Primate research, 1970-1988, 1997, undated; Series 3. Forensic work, 1980-2003, undated; Series 4. Repatriation work, 1987-1999; Series 5. Writings and academic material, 1974-2008, undated; Series 6. Other research, 1976-circa 2008, undated; Series 7. Slides, 1969-1998, undated.
Phillip L. Walker was a leading physical anthropologist and bioarchaeologist and a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Born in 1947 in Elkhart, Indiana, Walker graduated from the University of Chicago in 1973 with a Ph.D. in Anthropology. His doctoral work focused on the feeding behavior of great apes and included field work at the Yerkes Regional Primate Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1975, he completed field work in Guatemala studying the behavior of free-ranging New World monkeys.
Walker began teaching at UCSB in 1974 and became fascinated with the "enormous archaeological heritage of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands region, and the native peoples who occupied it." He started a research program on the bioarchaeology of the region and collaborated with other scholars as well as the Chumash community in the region. He "struck up a positive dialog with the Chumash tribe, developed friendships, and pioneered the notion that the living descendant community is a crucial player in research and learning about the past."
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Walker was active in the development and implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). He was a founding member of the U.S. Department of the Interior's NAGPRA review committee and the Smithsonian Institution's Native American Repatriation Review Committee.
In the late 1990s Walker was instrumental in launching the Global History of Health Project which focused on the investigation of regional and continental patterns of health and lifestyle through the study of human remains. In addition, he was the co-director of an archaeological project excavating a Viking settlement in Mosfell, Iceland and volunteered his forensic services to public agencies in California and Nevada.
Over the course of his career Walker authored more than 200 scholarly articles and reports. He died in 2009 at his home in Goleta, CA.
Source consulted: Larsen, Clark Spencer and Patricia M. Lambert. 2009. "Obituary: Phillip Lee Walker, 22 July 1947- 6 February 2009." American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 141:1-2
1947 -- Born on July 22 in Elkhart, Indiana
Summer 1966 -- Archaeological fieldwork, Atlas, Illinois (Director, field laboratories in Human Osteology)
September 1969 -- Archaeological fieldwork, Northwestern Hudson Bay Tule Expedition, Northwest Territories, Canada
1970 -- B.A. Indiana University (Anthropology, minor in Zoology)
Summer 1970 -- Dental anthropological fieldwork, International Biological Program (Eskimo villages in Northern Alaska)
March 1971 -- Dental anthropological fieldwork, Gila River Indian Reservation (Pima), Arizona
1971 -- M.A. University of Chicago (Anthropology)
Summer 1971, Spring 1973 -- Primate Behavioral Research, Yerkes Regional Primate Center, Atlanta, Georgia
1973 -- Ph.D. University of Chicago (Anthropology)
1974 -- Lecturer, University of California, Davis
1974-2009 -- Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
Summer 1975 -- Field study of the behavior of free-ranging New World monkeys in Guatemala
Summer 1982 -- Archaeological fieldwork, San Miguel Island
1991-1992 -- Chairman, Society for American Archaeology Task Force on Repatriation
1992-1997 -- Member, Department of the Interior Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Review Committee
2003-2005 -- President, American Association of Physical Anthropologists
2003-2009 -- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Summer 2006 -- Archaeological excavations, San Miguel Island
2009 -- Died on February 6 in Goleta, CA
Seven rolls of 16mm film (100' each), 3 rolls of Super 8mm film (50' each), and one small roll of Super 8mm film of primate behavior were transferred to the Human Studies Film Archive (accession number 2014-013).
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Phillip Walker's wife, Cynthia Brock, in 2014.
The Phillip Walker papers are open for research.
Requests to view forensic files are subject to review by the NAA. Forensic files can only be viewed in the National Anthropological Archives reading room. No copies are permitted unless permission is granted by the agency the report was written for.
Access to the Phillip Walker papers requires an appointment.