Mandy Kingdom

Discipline: Archaeology

Project Summary

The Past People of Exeter: Health, Social Standing and Well-being in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Periods.

Key Words:
Bioarchaeology, Exeter, Medieval, Well-being, Health, Skeletal Remains

Project Synopsis:
This project focuses on the bioarchaeology (human remains in their archaeological context) of the past people of Exeter from the sub-Roman to Early Modern periods. Excavation and historical sources have helped us understand the founding and development of Exeter as a city. However, little is known about the people who made that development possible. The large collection of skeletal remains from Cathedral Green (some 360 individuals), along with those from other areas of the city, including the Princesshay Development and Friargate (some 70 individuals) and those excavated from the Cathedral’s deanery (some 15 individuals) will be the main resources for this study. The overall aim is to produce an inventory of the demographic aspects, determinations of age, sex and mortality profiles, of these human remains collections in order to assess changing health and well-being through time. The osteological analysis will then be combined with archival material to compare social differences within the past population of the City, particularly between the burials excavated from the church of the Blackfriars, under Princesshay, with the contemporary burials in Cathedral Close. Comparison with other contemporary urban and rural sites will also be undertaken enabling a comprehensive picture of ‘The Past People of Exeter’.

Supervisory Team

Professor Christopher Knüsel
Professor Allen Outram

Wider Research Interests

Human osteology
Human pathology and paleopathology
Funerary archaeology (including cremations and charcoal burials)
Osteobiographies of individuals and communities