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Sarah Baires

Associate Professor - Anthropology
Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology and Social Work
Dr. Baires is an accomplished archaeologist whose research focuses on the pre-Columbian (AD 1050-1400) Native American city of Cahokia, which is located near St. Louis, MO. Her research concerns how cities are built, what draws people to cities, and the role religion plays in the organization of political governments. Dr. Baires also focuses on burial practices and how the burial of the dead can provide unique insight into social relationships. She has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and one book--Land of Water City of the Dead: Religion and Cahokia's emergence. Dr. Baires is also featured in two documentary series: Native America (PBS), and Ancient Mysteries (Smithsonian Channel). She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Research Interests
  • Ancient Cities and Urban Life
  • Burial Practices
  • Native American pre-history
Of Note

Dr. Baires was featured in the documentary series Native America on PBS.

Teaching Interests
  • Native American Studies
  • Death and Burial
  • Introduction to Archaeology

Land of Water, City of the Dead: Religion and Cahokia's Emergence. University of Alabama Press, 2017

2017 Exploring New Cahokian Neighborhoods: Structure Density Estimates from the Spring Lake Tract. American Antiquity 82(4): 742-760., 2017

A microhistory of human and gastropod bodies and souls during Cahokia’s emergence. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 27(2): 245-260., 2017

Matter, Places, and Persons in Cahokia’s Depositional Acts. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 24(3): 974-997., 2017