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Sarah McClure

Sarah McClure

Associate Professor of Anthropology

423 Carpenter Building
Office Phone: (814) 863-2694

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. BA equivalent Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany, 1997
  2. M.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1999
  3. Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004


Research Activities and Interests:

Dr. McClure is an environmental archaeologist interested in the spread of farming in the Mediterranean and Europe. Her research focuses on environmental and social impacts of early farming societies, particularly questions of human-animal interactions, changes in land use through time, the role of local and regional exchange networks, ceramic technology, food consumption, and the emergence of social inequality.


Dr. McClure’s archaeological fieldwork is based in the western Mediterranean and the Adriatic. She has current projects in on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and in Valencia, Spain. She also directs the Zooarchaeology Laboratory and Ceramic Analysis Laboratory.

Dairying, Transhumance and Environmental Impact in Neolithic Dalmatia

McClure_SheepThis NSF-funded, inter-disciplinary project investigates the biological and cultural markers of domestic animal management to assess the roles of transhumance, dairying, and environmental impacts of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs for early farmers in central Dalmatia.

Cocina Cave Project, Valencia, Spain

Co-directed with Oreto Garcia (University of Valencia), this project consists of a re-analysis and new excavations at Cocina Cave, a key site for understanding the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the western Mediterranean.

Sarah McClure with Oreto Garcia  and Consuelo Roca de Togores at Pastora Cave, Spain in 2008

Pastora Cave Project, Alicante, Spain

This project is co-directed with Oreto Garcia (University of Valencia) and is a re-analysis of a Late Neolithic to Bronze Age communal burial cave in Alicante, Spain funded by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.

Animal Management and Stable Isotope Analysis
This ongoing project explores various animal management strategies (e.g., transhumance, secondary products) and their isotopic correlates using both modern and ancient samples from the Mediterranean region.

Ceramic Technology and Early Farmers on the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
In collaboration with Emil Podrug (Sibnik Museum), I am analyzing ceramic collections from  Neolithic sites in Croatia. This project builds on  previous and ongoing research on early pottery production in the Mediterranean region.


Courses Taught:

    • Freshman Seminar in Anthropology
    • European Prehistory
    • First Farmers
    • The Archaeology of Domesticated Animals
    • Zooarchaeology
    • Forensic Archaeology
    • Graduate Seminars

      Recent Publications:

        • McClure, S. B., Podrug, E., Moore, A. M. T., Culleton, B. J., Kennett, D. J. (2014), AMS 14C chronology and ceramic sequences of early farmers in the eastern Adriatic. Radiocarbon 56(3): 1019-1038.
        • Teoh, M. L., S. B. McClure and E. Podrug (2014), Macroscopic, petrographic and XRD analysis of Middle Neolithic figulina pottery from central Dalmatia. Journal of Archaeological Science 50: 350-358.
        • Bernabeu, J., García, O., Pardo, S., Barton, C. M., and McClure, S. B. (2014), Socioecological dynamics at the time of Neolithic transition in Iberia. . Environmental Archaeology: A Journal of Human Paleoecology 19(3): 214-225.
        • Zavodny, E., McClure, S. B., Culleton, B., Podrug, E., Kennett, D. J. (2014),Neolithic animal management practices and stable isotope studies in the Adriatic. Environmental Archaeology: A Journal of Human Paleoecology 19(3): 184-195.
        • Ebert, C., Dennison, M., Hirth, K.G., McClure, S.B., Kennett, D.J. (2014), Formative Period obsidian exchange along the Pacific Coast of Mesoamerica. Archaeometry. DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12095.
        • McClure, S. B. (2013), Domesticated animals and biodiversity: early agriculture at the gates of Europe and long-term ecological consequences. Anthropocene 4: 57-68
        • Garcia, O. S. McClure, J. Blasco, F. Cotino, and V. Porcelli, (2013). Increasing contextual information by merging existing archaeological data with state of the art laser scanning in the prehistoric funerary deposit of Pastora Cave, Eastern Spain. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 1593-1601.
        • McClure, S. B. (2011), Learning Technology: Neolithic Pottery Production in Valencia, Spain. Oxford Press British Archaeological Reports.

          Zooarchaeology Lab:

          Students in the Zooarchaeology Lab

          Located in Pond Lab 1, the Zooarchaeology Laboratory at Penn State is directed by Dr. Sarah McClure. It facilitates the identification and analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites and provides research and storage space for students and faculty, who carry out studies on animal bones and teeth from around the world. Dr. McClure is available to consult with students, set up volunteer, independent study, or honors projects, and assist in developing research designs, sampling protocols and evaluating results.

          Ceramic Analysis Lab:

          The Ceramic Analysis Lab is located in Carpenter Building Room 424 and directed by Dr. Sarah McClure. The lab provides storage and research space for the analysis of pottery and other clay artifacts from archaeological sites around the world, including petrographic and binocular microscopes, re-firing capabilities, and elemental analyses. Comparative materials are currently under development. Dr. McClure is available to work with students in defining projects and identifying research opportunities.

          Research Interests

          Behavioral ecology, environmental archaeology, origins & spread of agriculture & animal husbandry; Landscape evolution & biodiversity; Cultural transmission & emergence of social complexity; Faunal & ceramic analysis, including stable isotope and geochemi