Leading Archaeologist Professor Marc Oxenham Joins Aberdeen University

A leading academic whose expertise spans bioarchaeology, archaeology and forensic anthropology will join the University of Aberdeen as part of the British Academy’s Global Professorships programme.

Professor Marc Oxenham

Professor Marc Oxenham

Professor Marc Oxenham will lead a project utilising cutting-edge developments in ancient skeletal analysis to develop new ways of understanding ancient population dynamics to assess health and stress over the last 6,000 years.

Coming from  ‘the Australian National University’, Professor Marc Oxenham,has spent the past two decades undertaking archaeological and bioanthropological research in Japan, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

His research specialisations include the reconstruction of health from human skeletal and dental remains, mortuary archaeology, and human identification and estimation of the time since death.

He said he was looking forward to applying his expertise to new contexts, exploring how Northern communities biologically adapted to and were resilient to the vagaries of significant change in climate, environment, technology and economy throughout antiquity.

The project will span the origin of farming (Neolithic) through to the Medieval period and will be modelled in a study that utilises the rich, but understudied human remains collections archived in Scottish and Northern Irish museums and universities.

Professor Oxenham said:

“My Global Professorship aims to grow an emerging area of bioarchaeological expertise at the University of Aberdeen and provide new pioneering techniques in the field of bioarchaeology more generally.

“I am delighted to have an opportunity to share my particular skills, knowledge of and approaches to the study of the antiquity of human health with my UK counterparts and, in particular, the next generation of students and young scholars in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Professor Gordon Noble, head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen, said:

“Marc is one of the world leaders in Osteoarchaeology and it is a real honour to host him and his project for four years at Aberdeen.

“His project will build on the rich archaeological collections of the university and will provide new insights into human health and lifeways in Scotland and Ireland over the last 6000 years. His position will also help support our Osteoarchaeology masters teaching and his position will benefit the field of Osteoarchaeology in the UK more generally.

“The British Academy Global Professorships are hugely prestigious and it is testament to the qualities of Marc as a researcher and to the distinctiveness of what we do in Archaeology at Aberdeen that we have been able to win this award”

To find out more about the work of Professor Marc Oxenham here is an interesting video where he explains some of his work.

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