Dr Belinda Tibbetts



College: College of Humanities
Discipline: Archaeology
Department: Archaeology

My doctoral research investigated the skeletal palaeopathology of very young individuals as an indicator for maternal health. The wider scope of my research considered the evidence within a bioarchaeological context, for population stress and community responses to maternal care and perinatal death. This research involved the detailed analysis of human skeletal remains recovered from archaeological locations across the UK, Europe, and Turkey.

Adult palaeopathology has been employed in a diverse range of inquiry including population health, the spread of disease, and trauma. The analysis of very young individuals provides insight into the sensitive biological responses of human development to environmental stressors such as increased population density and social disruption.

Prior to my doctoral research, I completed a MSc in Bioarchaeology (Human Osteology) at the University of Exeter on the infant skeletal remains from the Iron Age site of Gussage All Saints, Dorset, investigating the links between social disruption, maternal health, and infant mortality. Through this research, I demonstrated infant skeletal remains to be a key source of detailed information previously under-utilised in the understanding of past population dynamics and their impact upon fertility.

I am a member of the Human Remains team for the Çatalhöyük Project and a founding member of Archaeologists Engage.


Tibbetts, B. 2017. Fetal, Perinatal and Infant Palaeopathology as an Indicator of Maternal Health. Ground-Breaking Research Showcase, University of Exeter, 28th September.

Tibbetts, B. 2016. Challenging the Status Quo in Academia. Women in Leadership Event Series, WSP-Parsons Brinckerhoff, Exeter, 6th July.

Buffon, V., Schenck, T., Tibbetts, B., Wapshott, E. 2015. 'Gender and Commodification of the Past: The (mis-)representations of Viking women in cultural production. European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) Conference, University of Glasgow, 5th September.

Tibbetts, B. 2015. 'Perinatal Death and Cultural Buffering in a Neolithic community: Neonatal individuals from Çatalhöyük.' EAA Conference, University of Glasgow, 3rd September.

Tibbetts, B. 2014. ‘Infant Mortality and Maternal Health’. PG Tips Forum, University of Exeter, Exeter, 13th February.

Tibbetts, B. 2013. ‘The Infants of Iron Age Gussage All Saints’. Dorset County Museum Archaeology Lecture Series, Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, 6th April.

Tibbetts, B. 2008. ‘The Burial of Infants in the British pre-Roman Iron Age’. Friends of Antiquity, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 6th April.

Tibbetts, B. 2006. ‘Infant Burials in Iron Age Britain’. XV World Congress of the Union Internationale des Sciences Prehistoriques et Protohistoriques (UISPP), Lisbon, 4-9th September.

Tibbetts, B. 2006. ‘Grave Goods from Infant Burials: Unusual items recovered from Iron Age settlement sites in southern England’.  AMPHORA Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 13-14th July.