University of Cambridge > > Biological Anthropology Seminar Series > Putting heads together: Origins of skulls recovered from the River Thames

Putting heads together: Origins of skulls recovered from the River Thames

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Hundreds of human remains have been recovered from the River Thames and its deposits over the last two centuries through dredging, building works and excavations, with the vast majority being crania. Little is known about the origins of these remains and the people they came from. Carbon Dating analysis of six crania from the river was undertaken in the 1980s and determined that those remains range in date from Neolithic to Anglo-Saxon, with the majority being prehistoric. A further eight dates were published in 2014. Views are divided as to whether the deposition of the skulls reflects ritual relationships between prehistoric peoples and the water, or taphonomic processes resulting in selective accumulation of crania in the river. This talk will introduce a project that aims to complete the first fully comprehensive study to establish the origins and etiology of the remains from the Thames, using isotopic, biomolecular and physical analyses.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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