One Health Archaeology Research Group
The One Health Archaeology Research Group provides a forum to support interdisciplinary approaches for the study of past human, animal and environmental health and the contribution of these long-term records to current global health challenges.
The One Health approach explicitly acknowledges that the wellbeing of humans, animals and environments are linked. In the past, as in the present, health experiences were shaped by complex social, ecological and biological interactions. Archaeology is uniquely placed to deliver long-term integrated and contextualised biological and cultural records. These can provide powerful insights into the complexity of these past interactions. In doing so, archaeology also has the potential to offer long view perspectives to current global health challenges.
The research group
This research group is concerned with the investigation of the diverse relationships between humans, animals and their environments that shaped past health in its broadest sense. Our work combines evidence and proxies generated through different disciplinary approaches to understand the influences, contexts and outcomes of these interactions. It is represented by a range of ongoing fieldwork and laboratory projects, combining contextual, osteological, biomolecular, palaeodietary, and modelling approaches. Example projects include:
- ArchaeoFINS - medieval archaeology of fishing around the Irish and North Seas – Sam Leggett
- The Bioarchaeology of the Great Irish Famine: The Kilkenny Union Workhouse Mass Burials – Jonny Geber
- Population changes in health, diet and demography in the prehistoric Danube Basin – Kath McSweeney
- Never Done: A bioarchaeological study of women’s work, task, and occupation in medieval Scotland (PhD project) – Lauren Ide
- Enamel hypoplasias, stress and dietary markers in a medieval Croatian population (PhD project) – Emma Smith
- An investigation of health and disease in Mesambria, Bulgaria through physiological stress markers and dietary reconstruction (PhD project) – Monique De Pace
- A comparative analysis of the evolution of stable isotope dietary data and oral health pathologies through the historic period in two contrasting populations: Scotland and Ibiza, Spain (PhD project) – Laura-Kate Girdwood
- Reconstructing Human-Animal-Relationships in Eastern Mongolia and Beyond through integrating Zooarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analysis (PhD project) – Sarah Pleuger
This group provides an interdisciplinary forum for research supported by a seminar series, workshops, and excellent laboratory facilities. We provide an interdisciplinary research community for students on the MSc in Human Osteoarchaeology, and we also support Archaeological Science Summer Internships. We have ongoing rich collaborations with a range of external research groups and organisations, such as:
- National Museum of Scotland
- Croatian Academy of Sciences
- Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre (SUERC)
- Royal Veterinary College
- Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
- The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
- Fournié G, Pfeiffer D and Bendrey R 2017, Early animal farming and zoonotic disease dynamics: Modelling brucellosis transmission in Neolithic goat populations. Royal Society Open Science 4, 160943. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160943
- Geber J and O'Donnabhain B 2020, "Against shameless and systematic calumny": Strategies of domination and resistance and their impact on the bodies of the poor in 19th century Ireland. Historical Archaeology 54: 160–183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41636-019-00219-2
- Leggett S 2021, Migration and Cultural Integration in the Early Medieval Cemetery of Finglesham, Kent, through Stable Isotopes. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 13: 171. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-021-01429-7
- Michael D E, Fibiger L, Ziota C, Gkelou L and Molloy B 2021, Exploring the efficacy of comparative bioarchaeological approaches in providing answers on marginality and networking: The example of Late Bronze Age Achlada in Florina, Northern Greece. Bioarchaeology International 5: 21-46. https://doi.org/10.5744/bi.2021.1005
- Pickard C and Bonsall C 2020, Post-glacial hunter-gatherer subsistence patterns in Britain: dietary reconstruction using FRUITS. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12: 142. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-020-01087-1
One Health Archaeology Events
We organise a seminar series, a regular research meeting and a journal club.
We organise a seminar series featuring both internal and external speakers. You can find details of the most recent series at the link below.
The One Health Archaeology Research Group offers a regular research meeting, to which all are welcome. In the meeting we discuss current research, interests, share thoughts and data and offer the opportunity to engage through questions and small presentations. Dates and topics will be announced regulary
Time and location
The events take place on Mondays, 4 pm Jim McMillan Room unless announced otherwise. The event poses the opportunity to socialise after the official part of the meeting.
Conveners: Sarah Pleuger, Emma Smith and Sam Leggett.
As part of the One Health Archaeology group we are setting up a journal club. Each week one paper will be selected (a fairly recent one from bioarchaeology) and we will discuss different points of it. This is student-led and will be held weekly on Tuesdays in G16 from 1-2pm (so feel free to bring lunch and coffee/tea!).
Time and location
The events take place on Tuesdays, 1-2 pm in G16 unless announced otherwise.
Convener: Emma Smith
Research Group Conveners