Osteology

Last updated 05 July 2011

The Osteology team are expert in the identification and analysis of human and faunal remains. We create assessments and analytical reports for commercial projects, carry out academic research and present our results in a knowledgeable yet accessible way, and through a variety of media. With an holistic approach to the archaeological evidence we optimise our interpretation of past lives and environments. All our work is carried out to recognised standards and tailored to meet the specific needs of the project. Our post-excavation assessments rapidly evaluate the potential of the remains, producing detailed costs and recommendations where further work is required.

You can read more about our work in our osteology blog and on our osteology news page.

Human osteology

Human remains provide us with the most direct evidence of the life and death of past populations and the MOLA osteology team have recorded and reported on some of the largest and most fascinating skeletal assemblages in the British Isles. Recording to the MOL database allows direct comparison with the extensive collections curated by the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology. MOLA has in-house plain radiographic facilities and can provide computed radiography through collaboration with City University.

Contact us for:

  • Advice on the ethical and legal requirements of cemetery and crypt excavation
  • Assessment, recording, analysis and interpretation of inhumed and cremated remains
  • Our particular expertise in large and urban cemetery assemblages
  • Assistance with excavation and sampling strategies
  • Advice on scientific and chemical analyses, cleaning, handling and storage of human remains
  • Documentary research

Faunal remains

Faunal remains provide evidence of diet, butchery practices, animal husbandry and trade, refuse disposal, craft and industry. This assists in the reconstruction and interpretation of past environments and economies. Our zooarchaeologists work closely with our Human Environment team, analysing invertebrate remains, particularly foraminiferans, molluscs and crustaceans.

Contact us for:

  • Assessment, recording, analysis and interpretation of archaeological and modern animal bones
  • Special expertise in fish, birds, and mammals
  • Identification and interpretation of tool marks
  • Advice on sampling strategies
  • Wet sieving and flotation of bulk samples for the recovery of faunal remains
  • Preparation of faunal catalogues and archives

More information

For further information, please contact Head of Osteology, Natasha Powers, BSc MSc MIfA MCMI on 020 7410 2200.

See also forensic archaeology

New business enquiries

Call 020 7410 2200 or email us to enquire about commissioning work.

MOLA osteology in the news