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Dr. Mark Nathan Cohen

Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anthropology

Mark Nathan Cohen is SUNY University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anthropology. A veteran of 30 years on the Plattsburgh campus, he obtained his A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1965 and his Ph.D. degree in anthropology from Columbia University in 1971.



  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, Columbia University, 1971
  • A.B., Harvard College, 1965

Teaching Areas

Professor Cohen’s teaching and research interests include human evolution, human demographic history, cultural evolution, human health, biology and ecology, the delivery of medical care, skeletal pathology (involving a laboratory with some 600 archaeological human skeletons from outside the country) and forensic anthropology.

Research Areas

  • The relationship between population growth, “progress” and changes in health and life expectancy
  • Archaeological field work in Georgia, Wyoming, Chile, Peru, Greece, Kenya, and Tanzania, Belize

Awards and Honors

  • Chancellor Awards for Teaching
  • Phi Eta Sigma Teaching Award
  • J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Fulbright Fellowship to Israel

Recent Publications

  • Culture of Intolerance (Yale University Press 1998).
  • Health and the Rise of Civilization (Yale University Press, 1989) (Translated into Japanese).
  • Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (Academic Press 1984).
  • The Food Crisis in Prehistory (Yale University Press 1977) translated into Spanish and now being republished by the American Council of Learned Societies.
  • Two additional books are in press, one on prehistoric health and the other on the creation/evolution controversy.
  • Cohen is the recipient of a fellowship to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (1978); a J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship (1985) to Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, and a Fulbright Fellowship (1990) to Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
  • His scholarship is in use in more than 20 countries around the world. And he has given more than 100 invited lectures on more than 60 college and university campuses here and abroad.

Contact Dr. Mark Nathan Cohen

Office: Redcay Hall 133
Phone: (518) 564-4007