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Elizabeth Craig-Atkins

Lecturer in Human Osteology, University of Sheffield

I am a specialist in human osteology and palaeopathology with particular interests in multidisciplinary approaches to questions surrounding past population structures, health, disease and lifestyle. I have worked with human remains from many periods and locations, but have primarily focussed on material from post-Roman to modern periods in the UK. My current main areas of research include:

Multidisciplinary analysis of osteological and funerary data from early medieval to post-medieval contexts

The character and provision of funerary practices in early Christian England

Health status and social status in past populations

Disease, disability and disfigurement in the past (including social attitudes to sickness and medical/surgical interventions)

The archaeology of childhood

Current research projects / collaborations

The archaeology of medieval childhood

Eaves-drip burial and the differential treatment of infants in early Christian contexts

Exploration of isotopic evidence for weaning and childhood identity in Anglo-Saxon England, in collaboration with various colleagues including Julia Beaumont, University of Bradford. Funded by the University of Sheffield Early Career Researcher Scheme.

Medieval funerary practice.

The Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project

Multidisciplinary analysis of the medieval crypt and ossuary at Rothwell, Northants. (in collaboration with Jenny Crangle, University of Sheffield and Revd Canon John Westwood.)

Other projects include the use of domestic chests as burial containers, Anglo-Norman funerary rites, the control and management of Christian funerary rites

Osteological projects

The Material Body: An Interdisciplinary Study Using History and Archaeology, in collaboration with Karen Harvey, Sheffield. Funded by the British Academy.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Human Osteology, University of Sheffield


  • 2010 
    University of Sheffield, PhD Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology