Project:

Dead but not forgotten: human remains from archaeological excavations in Northeast England


Project Leader(s): Chris Fowler, Myra Giesen
Sponsors: Newcastle University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fund

This project assessed how much human bone survives from the hundreds of excavated sites from the Neolithic to the medieval period in Northeast England (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and County Durham). It contacted a range of institutions (i.e., museums, academic institutions, research laboratories, antiquarian societies, archaeological field units, etc) in Scotland, England, and Wales in order to gather information on human remains in those collections deriving from excavations in Northeast England. It associated these remains with specific excavation reports and assessed the feasibility of investigating the prehistory of life and death in the region, and combining scientific analyses of human remains with re-analysis of contextual information from previous archaeological excavations. Information acquired during this project fed into further research on Early Bronze Age burials in Northeast England, including osteological analyses and radiocarbon dating of remains in Tyne and Wear Museums collections.