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Ms Ceilidh Lerwick

PositionResearch Student
LocationPhoenix SW 1.09
DepartmentArchaeological Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 23 5733


I consider myself an anthropologist and along with my dissertation, have tried to keep current on trends in forensics.

I have training in forensic archaeology, human identification, and mass-tragedy aftermath cleanup. I have a serious interest in trauma patterns including ballistics, as well as pathology: both paleo and clinical.

I am an advocate for active learning and experimental science; and I believe in thinking outside the box.

Research Areas

Thesis Title

Vikings, Picts and Scots: Biocultural Identity in Medieval Scotland


Dr Jo Buckberry and Dr Julie Bond


Relatively prolific evidence of Norse settlement in England and Ireland has been used to form a model of Norse influence in Scotland. However, the scattered and modest nature of the archaeology in Scotland suggests that a model based on sites such as York or Dublin could be a bit presumptuous. Are the assumed facts about the Scottish-Norse contact as credible as previously accepted, or is there another reality just waiting to be discovered?

Grave deposits are an important source of knowledge about the life left behind, information that is unrivalled in artefact data alone; yet the human osteology of Scottish Norse era burials has been poorly researched and no compilation or systematic, synthetic study of the osteological data has been undertaken. A key issue to be resolved will be to view these remains in the context of medieval Scotland and not medieval England or Ireland.

This dissertation is assembling an archive of the excavated data. An investigation into the employed burial practices and an analysis of the skeletal information has begun. Defining identity and territorial boundaries is a central issue to this thesis and it is my hope that analysis of both the burial practices and the human remains will reveal significant insight into solidifying those definitions. The goal of this thesis is to further the understanding of Norse settlement in Scotland and its influence on the so-called Scottish identity and the future Scottish nation.

Research Group

Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC)

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