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Ms Natasha Powers

PositionHonorary Research Fellow
DepartmentSchool of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences


Natasha is a professional archaeologist and human osteologist and has worked on commercial and research projects throughout the UK and Ireland.

In 1999 she moved to London and began working on MOLA’s (Museum of London Archaeology) major Roman and medieval cemetery excavations at St Mary Spital, Tower Hamlets. After a brief spell at the Cambridge University Archaeology Unit, she returned to London and MOLA in 2003 to analyse post-medieval burials from St Pancras, excavated in advance of work for HS1. Since then, Natasha has been fortunate enough to study everything from prehistoric cremation burials to 19th century cemeteries.

Natasha became Head of Osteology at MOLA in 2007 and was appointed Research Coordinator in 2012. She manages MOLA’s human osteology, zooarchaeology and botany teams and provides advice on legal, ethical and practical matters concerning human remains. As an experienced forensic archaeologist, Natasha also provides specialist advice to the City and Metropolitan Police.

Study History

University of Bradford BSc (Hons) in Archaeological Sciences (1996)

MSc in Osteology Paleopathology and Funerary Archaeology (1998)

Diploma in Management (Level 5), Chartered Management Institute (2009)

Professional Activities

  • MIfA; member of the IfA Forensic Archaeology Expert Panel; chair of the Research and Impact SIG, elected to IfA Council, October 2012
  • Member of the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (executive committee member 2004–2007)
  • Peer reviewer for publications including the Lancet, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology and the Journal of Archaeological Science
  • Undergraduate and post-graduate teaching: London Metropolitan University, BSc Forensic Inferences from Biological Remains (2003–present); UCL, MA Urban Archaeology (2013); Birmingham University, MSc Practical Archaeology (2011), MA Archaeology (2006); Canterbury Christ Church University, BA History (2007–2012); Hendon Police Training College, Forensic archaeology and anthropology (2005 & 2007); University of Bradford, Demonstrator, Forensic anthropology (1996 & 1998)

Research Areas

Natasha’s research interests lie in the integration of osteological information with other strands of archaeological evidence to provide a holistic picture of our past. She has published on a wide variety of aspects of prehistoric, Roman, Medieval and post-medieval osteology.

Current Projects

At present Natasha is investigating some peculiar Roman burial practices in London, examining post-medieval surgery and dentistry and researching life and death in early medieval Berlin.


  • Fowler L and Powers N, (forthcoming), ‘With as much secresy and delicacy as possible’: 19th-century burial practices at the London Hospital, In Jervis B, Hausmair B, Nugent R and Williams E (eds) Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations: between text and practice
  • Walker D, Powers N and Fowler L, (forthcoming), Resurrection: who is it good for? The price of achievement at the London Hospital, Post Medieval Archaeology
  • Harward C, Powers N and Watson S, (forthcoming), Watery graves: excavations within the Walbrook Valley cemetery of Roman London, MOLA monograph
  • Powers N (forthcoming). The human remains. In McKenzie M and Thomas C, Spitalfields: the north London Roman cemetery, MOLA Monograph
  • Powers N, 2013, ‘What do archaeologists really think about impact?’, The Archaeologist, 89, 4–11
    Editor: August 2013, The Archaeologist, 89
  • Powers N and Sibun L, 2013, Chapter 3: Forensic Archaeology, In P Graves-Brown, R Harrison, and A Piccini (eds), Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World, Oxford University Press, 40–53
  • Powers N, Wilson A, Montgomery J, Bowsher D, Brown T, Beaumont J and Janaway R, 2013, ‘No certain roof but the coffin lid’: Exploring the Commercial and Academic Need for a High Level Research Framework to Safeguard the Future of the Post-Medieval Burial Resource, In C Dalglish (ed.), Archaeology, the Public and the Recent Past, The Society for Post-medieval archaeology monograph 7, 125–144
  • Editor: Henderson M, Miles A and Walker D with B Connell and R Wroe-Brown, 2013 'He being dead yet speaketh' Excavations at three post-medieval burial grounds in Tower Hamlets, east London, 2004-10, MOLA Monograph Series 64
  • Beaumont J, Geber J, Powers N, Wilson A, Lee-Thorp J and Montgomery J, 2012, Victims and survivors: stable isotopes used to identify migrants from the Great Irish Famine to 19th Century London, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • Fowler L and Powers N, 2012, Patients, Anatomists and Resurrection Men: Archaeological Evidence for Anatomy Teaching at the London Hospital in the Early Nineteenth Century, In Mitchell P (ed), Anatomical Dissection in Enlightenment England and Beyond. Autopsy, Pathology and Display, Ashgate, Farnham, 77–94
  • Editor: Walker D, 2012, Disease in London, 1st–19th centuries: an illustrated guide to diagnosis, MOLA Monograph Series 56
  • Walker D, Henderson M and Powers N, 2012, Archaeological evidence of Irish migration? Rickets in the Irish community of London’s East End, In Crowley J, Smyth WJ and Murphy M (eds) Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, Cork University Press, 521–524
  • Editor: Connell B, Gray Jones A, Redfern R and Walker D, 2012, A bioarchaeological study of medieval burials on the site of St Mary Spital: excavations at Spitalfields Market, London E1, 1991–2007, MOLA Monograph Series 60
  • Powers N and Sibun L, 2011, Standards and guidance for forensic archaeologists, Institute for Archaeology /Home Office
  • Powers N and Miles A, 2011, Non-conformist identities in 19th century London: archaeological and osteological evidence from the cemeteries of Bow Baptist Church and the Catholic Mission of St Mary and St Michael, Whitechapel, in C King and D Sayer (eds), The Archaeology of Post-Medieval Religion, The Society for Post-medieval archaeology monograph 6, 233–248
  • Powers N and White B, 2011, 'Health and Disease', In Emery, P A, and Wooldridge, K, St Pancras St Pancras burial ground: excavations for St Pancras International, the London terminus of High Speed 1, 2002–3. Gifford Monograph
  • Mitchell PD, Boston C, Chamberlain AT, Chaplin S, Chauhan V, Evans J, Fowler L, Powers N, Walker D, Webb H and Witkin A, 2011, The study of anatomy in England from 1700 to the early 20th century, Journal of Anatomy, Volume 219, Issue 2, 91–99
  • Powers N, 2011, (specialist contributor in) Howell IJ, Swift D and Watson B with Cotton J and Greenwood P, Archaeological landscapes of east London: six multi-period sites excavated in advance of gravel quarrying in the London Borough of Havering, MOLA Monograph Series 55
  • Powers N, Henderson M, Walker D and Bland P. Seeing inside the past. Synergy, June 2010, 10–13
  • Abrams J and Ingham D. 2008 with contributions from J Archer, A Bell, J Corcoran, M Dawson, H Duncan, R Gale, J Giorgi, D Goodburn, P Guest, C Halsey, A Lyons, S Percival, A Pipe, N Powers, K Rielly, R Scaife, D Shotliff, C Tester A Vince and J Wells. Farming on the Edge: Archaeological Evidnec from the Clay Upland West of Cambridge. East Anglian Archaeology 123
  • Miles A, Powers N, Wroe-Brown R with Walker D. 2008. St Marylebone Church and Burial Ground: Excavations at St Marylebone Church of England School, 2005, MOLA monograph
  • Powers N (ed) 2008. Human Osteology Method Statement. Museum of London on-line publication
  • Powers N, 2008 “All the outward tinsel which distinguishes man from man will have then vanished…”. An assessment of the value of post-medieval human remains to migration studies. In Brickley M and Smith M (eds.) Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. BAR International Series 1743. 41-49
  • Powers N. 2008. “I. Cremated human remains” Chapter 5. Environmental Evidence. In Ennis, T. An Early Saxon Cemetery at Rayleigh, Essex: excavations at the former Park School 2003-04. East Anglian Archaeology. 55–61
  • Compton J and Powers N. 2008. “I. Cremated animal remains” Chapter 5. Environmental Evidence. In Ennis, T. An Early Saxon Cemetery at Rayleigh, Essex: excavations at the former Park School 2003-04. East Anglian Archaeology. 55–61
  • Powers N. and Emery P. 2007. The ‘French Disease’: Syphilis and the burial ground of St Pancras. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteology edited by Sonia R. Zakrzewski and William White. BAR International Series 1712. 32-35
  • Powers N. 2007. Appendix I: Report on Human Remains. In Baker C. Excavations at Cloncowan II, Co. Meath. The Journal of Irish Archaeology. Vol 16. 22-82
  • Powers N. 2006. Archaeological evidence for dental innovation: an eighteenth century porcelain dental prosthesis belonging to Archbishop Arthur Richard Dillon. British Dental Journal 201; 459-463
  • Powers N, 2006, Human bone, In Watson S with Heard K, Development on Roman London’s western hill: excavations at Paternoster Square, City of London, MoLAS Monograph 32, 117-11
  • Powers N. 2006. Cremated human bone. In Bull R. and Davis S. Becoming Roman: excavation of a late Iron Age to Romano-British landscape at Monkston Park, Milton Keynes. MoLAS studies series 16. 64-66
  • Powers N. 2005. ‘Cranial trauma and treatment: a case study from the medieval cemetery of St. Mary Spital, London.’ International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. 15: 1-14
  • Davis S with Powers N and Smith TP 2004-5. Late and post-Roman burial to 19th-century brickmaking: excavations at the site of 40 Queen Street, Hitchin, SG4, Hertfordshire Archaeology and History, Volume 14, 57-74
  • Connell B, Powers N and White W. 2003. The human bone. In 280 Bishopsgate and the Spitalfields Ramp, Spitalfields, E1. A post-excavation assessment report. MoLAS, London
  • Powers, N. 1998 “Report on Human bone recovered in the 1996 season.” In Bond, J.M. and Dockrill S. J. Old Scatness/Jarlshof Environs Project 1997. Interim Report no. 3. University of Bradford

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

Co-PI JISC funded Digitised Diseases project with Dr Andrew Wilson and Royal College of Surgeons

Proposer of and advisor for the Museum of London’s Doctors Dissection and Resurrection Men Exhibition, 2012

In the News/Media

Natasha has appeared on a number of television documentaries, including Time Team and the One Show. Her desk was once photographed by the art department of Silent Witness.

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