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Professor Karina Croucher


Faculty/Dept/School School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences
(Faculty of Life Sciences)


I have been at the University of Bradford since 2012 and enjoy teaching and researching in such a world-leading department. I am interested in inter-disciplinary approaches to understanding the past, and the role of the past today, as evidenced in my recent Arts and Humanities Research Council Project, ‘Continuing Bonds: exploring the meaning and legacy of death through past and contemporary practice’, which unites Archaeology with End of Life Care (, and the Dying to Talk Project ( which co-produced a resource encouraging young people to discuss death and dying. 

My research also focuses on Middle Eastern prehistory, particularly funerary archaeology – investigating how people treated their dead in the past. My British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship resulted in the publication of ‘Death and Dying in the Neolithic Near East’ (2012, Oxford University Press). 

My current research in Jordan unites the above research strands, focusing on the role that cultural heritage plays in identity, social cohesion, and in providing a sense of place, particularly for displaced and host communities. 

I have lectured at Manchester and Liverpool Universities and have worked for the University of Manchester's Widening Participation Team, and for the Higher Education Academy's Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology (based at Liverpool University), where I researched and worked on topics including diversity and inclusivity, fieldwork, employability and enterprise, and sustainability.These prior positions and my current research reflect my interest in methodological issues of interpretation, representation and the portrayal of the past in the present.


Death and Dying: Funerary archaeology and mortuary practices across the world and through time, particularly of the Neolithic of the Middle East/Southwest Asia, investigating themes such as identity, gender and personhood.  

Archaeology and its relevance today: Communicating the value of archaeology, and pioneering a new approach to encouraging talk about death and dying today, through the use of the past and  The role of archaeology in using creative media to discuss difficult topics, the topic of Continuing Bonds: Creative Disseminations (due to start Jan 2019) and work allied with the Whitworth Park Project, Manchester.  

Role of archaeology and cultural heritage to displaced communities and host communities, particularly in Jordan and the Middle East, as well as highlighting role of cultural heritage in social cohesion. 

Archaeological pedagogy (research in teaching and learning in archaeology). Currently co-authoring Assembling Archaeology: A relational approach to teaching, practice and research, Oxford University Press.

Undercutting these research areas is a motivation to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity in research and teaching. 

Date Role Title / Description Funder Award
- Project leader (Principle Investigator)Dying to Talk: an interdisciplinary project working with charities and community groups in Bradford
01-APR-18 - 31-AUG-18Principle InvestigatorContinuing Bonds: Exploring the meaning and legacy of death through past and contemporary practice
- Co-InvestigatorBReaTHe: Building Resilience through Heritage

Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-05: University of Manchester - PhD in Archaeology
  • 01-JAN-01: University of Manchester - MA in Archaeology (with Distinction)
  • 01-JAN-00: University of Manchester - BA(Hons) in Archaeology (First Class)
  • 01-JAN-11: University of Manchester - British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Chair: Chair, British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology Steering Group
  • Senior Fellow: Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow
  • Research: GENOVATE for Life Sciences, University of Bradford


TitleThe Bioarchaeology of Disability: A population-scale approach to investigating disability, physical impairment, and care in archaeological communities (2022)
AuthorsBohling, S., Croucher, K., Buckberry, J.
JournalInternational Journal of Paleopathology
TitleDying to Talk? Co-producing resources with young people to get them talking about bereavement, death and dying (2020)
AuthorsBooth J, Croucher KT and Bryant EJ
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
PublisherPolicy Press
TitleArchaeology and contemporary death: Using the past to provoke, challenge and engage (2020)
AuthorsKarina Croucher, Lindsey Büster, Jennifer Dayes, Laura Green, Justine Raynsford, Louise Comerford Boyes and Christina Faull
JournalPLoS ONE
TitleArchaeology and modern reflections on death (2018)
AuthorsDayes, Jennifer E.; Faull, C.; Büster, Lindsey S.; Green, Laura I.; Croucher, Karina T.
TitleFrom Plastered Skulls to Palliative Care: What the Past Can Teach Us About Dealing with Death (2018)
AuthorsBüster, Lindsey S.; Croucher, Karina T.; Dayes, Jennifer E.; Green, Laura I.; Faull, C.
TitleKeeping the dead close: grief and bereavement in the treatment of skulls from the Neolithic Middle East (2018)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina T.
TitlePersonal, Political, Pedagogic: Challenging the binary bind in archaeological teaching, learning and fieldwork (2016)
AuthorsCobb, H.; Croucher, Karina T.
TitlePrioritizing death and society: the archaeology of Chalcolithic and contemporary cemeteries in the Southern Levant (2015)
AuthorsCroucher K.
TitleAssembling archaeological pedagogy. A theoretical framework for valuing pedagogy in archaeological interpretation and practice (2014)
AuthorsCobb H.;Croucher K.
JournalArchaeological Dialogues
TitleAssembling archaeological pedagogy. A theoretical framework for valuing pedagogy in archaeological interpretation and practice (2014)
AuthorsCobb, H.; Croucher, Karina T.
TitleBeyond human: The materiality of personhood (2011)
AuthorsCasella, E.; Croucher, Karina T.
TitleRoad my body goes: re-creating ancestors from stone at the great moai quarry of Rano Raraku, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) (2011)
AuthorsRichards, C.; Croucher, Karina T.; Paoa, T.; Parish, T.; Tucki, E.; Welham, K.
TitleQueerying Near Eastern archaeology (2005)
AuthorsCroucher K.
JournalWorld Archaeology
TitleCranial Modification in Ancient Iran (2007)
AuthorsDaems, A. and K. Croucher
JournalIranica Antiqua
TitleAssembling Archaeology: Teaching, practice and research (2020)
AuthorsCobb, Hannah; Croucher, Karina
PublisherOxford University Press
TitleDeath and dying in the Neolithic Near East (2012)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina T.
TitleInvestigating the role of fieldwork in the undergraduate degree (2008)
AuthorsCroucher, K., H. Cobb and A. Brennan
PublisherCarnegie Publishers/Higher Education Academy
TitleAfterword: The Public Archaeology of Death: Emotion, Equality and Student Experience (2019)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalThe Public Archaeology of Death
PublisherEquinox Press
TitlePlastered skulls: evidence of grief and mourning (2019)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalIconography and Symbolic Meaning
PublisherAustrian Academy for Science
TitleRising, Falling, Assembling: Pedagogy in British Archaeology (2019)
AuthorsCobb, H.; Croucher, Karina T.
JournalHistory and Approaches to Heritage Studies
PublisherUniversity Press of Florida
TitleDig! Arts Access Project: Reclaiming Park Spaces (2019)
AuthorsGiles, Melanie and Croucher, Karina
JournalEngaging Communities in Archaeology
TitleLiving with the dead, past and present: A reinterpretation of Southwest Asia’s Neolithic mortuary practices in light of contemporary theories of bereavement (2017)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina
JournalEngaging with the Dead: Exploring Changing Human Beliefs about Death, Mortality and the Human Body
TitleAnatolia (2017)
AuthorsK. Croucher and E. Belcher
JournalThe Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines
PublisherOxford University Press
TitleDigitised Diseases: Seeing Beyond the Specimen to Understand Disease and Disability in the Past (2017)
AuthorsWilson, A.S., Manchester, K., Buckberry, J., Storm, R.A., Croucher, K.T.
JournalNew developments in the bioarcheology of care: further case studies and extended theory
TitleLife and death in late-prehistoric to early historic Mesopotamia (2015)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina T.
TitleWrapped in images: body metaphors, petroglyphs and landscape in the island world of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) (2014)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina T.; Richards, C.
TitleFeminist Pedagogy: implications and practice (2014)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina T.; Cobb, H.; Casella, E.
TitleHeritage and Education (2013)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalEncyclopaedia of Global Archaeology
TitleBodily identity: a discussion of mortuary practices and bodily treatment in the Upper Mesopotamian Later Neolithic (2013)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalInterpreting the Late Neolithic of Upper Mesopotamia
PublisherBrepols Publishers
TitleDecay, temporality & the politics of conservation: An archaeological approach to object studies (2013)
AuthorsCasella, E. and K. Croucher,
JournalObjects and Materials, A Routledge Companion
Title. Field Schools, transferable skills and enhancing employability (2011)
AuthorsCobb, H. and K. Croucher
JournalGlobal Perspectives on Archaeological Field Schools: Constructions of Knowledge and Experience
TitlePrehistoric Anatolia (2011)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalThe Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion
PublisherOxford University Press
TitleThe Past in the Present: Issues, perspectives and challenges in teaching & learning archaeology in the UK (2010)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalHeritage Values in Contemporary Society
PublisherUniversity Press of Florida
TitleBodies in pieces in the Neolithic Near East (2010)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalIn Body Parts and Wholes: Changing relations and meanings
TitleFiguring out Identity: The Body and Identity in the ‘Ubaid (2010)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalThe ‘Ubaid and Beyond: Exploring the transmission of culture in the developed prehistoric societies of the Middle East
PublisherOriental Institute Publications of the Oriental Institute
TitleTactile engagements: the world of the dead in the lives of the living... or 'sharing the dead' (2010)
AuthorsCroucher, Karina T.
TitlePrehistory of Iran: Artificial cranial modification (2008)
AuthorsDaems, A. and K. Croucher
JournalEncyclopaedia Iranica
TitleAmbiguous genders, altered identities: Alternative interpretations of figurine and mortuary evidence from the ‘PPNB’ – ‘Halaf’ periods (2008)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalGender Through Time in the Ancient Near East
PublisherAlta Mira Press
TitleGetting Ahead: Exploring meanings of skulls in the Neolithic Near East (2006)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalSkull Collection, Modification and Decoration
PublisherBritish Archaeological Reports International Series / Archaeopress
TitleDeath, Display and Performance: A discussion of the mortuary remains at Çayönü Tepesi, Southeast Turkey (2006)
AuthorsK. Croucher
JournalArchaeology of Cult and Death
PublisherArchaeolingua Publications
Title‘Cultural Heritage Management’ Section, Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology (2013)
AuthorsMultiple authors