Sara C. Bisel

Sara C. Bisel

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Sara C. Bisel'
Start a new discussion about 'Sara C. Bisel'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Dr. Sara C. Bisel was a physical anthropologist and classical archaeologist who played a prominent role in early scientific research at Herculaneum
Herculaneum
Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in AD 79, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano, in the Italian region of Campania in the shadow of Mt...

, a Mediterranean coastal town destroyed by the 79 CE eruption of Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting...

. Her pioneering work in the chemical and physical analysis of skeletons yielded new insights into the nutrition and health of ancient populations. This was considered ground-breaking and helped advance the field of paleodemography
Paleodemography
Paleodemography is the study of ancient human mortality, fertility, and migration.More specifically, paleodemography looks at the changes in pre-modern populations in order to determine something about the influences on the lifespan and health of earlier peoples.Because case studies that are common...

.

Life and work


Born Sara Louise Clark on May 13, 1932, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Johnstown is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States, west-southwest of Altoona, Pennsylvania and east of Pittsburgh. The population was 20,978 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Cambria County...

, Dr. Bisel grew up in western Pennsylvania. She graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh with a Bachelor's degree in nutrition and biochemistry. She married Harry Bisel
Harry Bisel
Dr. Harry F. Bisel was a pioneering American oncologist working in the field of medical oncology.----Dr. Harry Bisel, along with Doctors Fred Ansfield, Herman Freckman, Arnoldus Goudsmit, Robert Talley, William Wilson, and Jane Wright, was one of the founding members of the American Society of...

, a Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group specializing in treating difficult patients . Patients are referred to Mayo Clinic from across the U.S. and the world, and it is known for innovative and effective treatments. Mayo Clinic is known for being at the top of...

 medical oncologist, and lived in Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on both banks of the Zumbro River, The city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census, making it Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest outside of the...

 from 1963.

At the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

, she earned a Master's degree in classical area studies, with a specialization in Greek archaeology, and a Ph.D. in physical anthropology. She was awarded a fellowship by the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 in 1977 and conducted independent research funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical...

 from 1981 to 1988. She was a Visiting Scientist at the Mayo Clinic, and a Research Associate and Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

.

The author of numerous articles published in scholarly and professional journals, she taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Maryland
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...

, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. She worked on various sites throughout Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

Her work at Herculaneum
Herculaneum
Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in AD 79, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano, in the Italian region of Campania in the shadow of Mt...

established her international reputation as an authority on ancient health and nutrition.

Sara Bisel died on 4 February 1996.

Professional societies

  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • Paleopathology Association
  • Society for Ancient Medicine and Pharmacy
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society of Woman Geographers
  • National Geographic Explorer's Club