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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Meet the Team

The team behind the excavation and subsequent identification of the Scottish soldiers from the 1650 Battle of Dunbar is drawn together from academics and professional archaeologists from Durham University’s Department of Archaeology.

The team published their results and analysis in a series of academic reports on 2 September 2015, which have been externally peer reviewed. The researchers received assistance from Masters students on the analysis and interpretation of the bones of the Scottish soldiers.

More background, including biographies, can be found below.

Professor David Cowling

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. David has executive and budgetary responsibility for the project and chairs the project planning meetings.

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Professor Chris Gerrard

Research team lead for the project. He has coordinated the academic review of the scientific analysis and historical background work on the project.

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Mr Richard Annis

Senior Archaeologist in Archaeological Services Durham University. Richard led the excavation of the site after skeletons were discovered in two mass graves on Durham’s World Heritage Site in November 2013 and managed the process of post-excavation processing, examination and analysis of the skeletons.

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Dr Anwen Caffell

Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology, carried out the bone analysis work, painstakingly piecing together the remains of the Scottish soldiers that had lain below ground for more than 350 years. Her research identified that two of the soldiers had been clay pipe smokers – helping to date the period when they had been alive.

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Dr Pam Graves

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, has provided the historical background to the Battle of Dunbar and the aftermath of the battle, helping to set the scientific findings in a historical context. She is also Archaeological Consultant to Durham Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee.

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Dr Andrew Millard

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, supervised the isotopic analysis of the remains and the radiocarbon dating that led to the skeletons being dated to between 1625 and 1660. He also investigated the history and topography of land around the burial site on Palace Green, concluding that it is “quite possible” more mass graves lie undiscovered.

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The Durham University team would like to thank the following for their work on this project:


Janet Beveridge, Archaeological Services Durham University, for carrying out the excavations with assistance from Richard Annis, Matthew Claydon and Jonathan Dye, also of Archaeological Services Durham University.

Analysis of human remains

Janet Beveridge, Archaeological Services, Durham University; David Errickson and Professor Tim Thompson, Teesside University; Dr Becky Gowland and Professor Charlotte Roberts, Department of Archaeology, Durham University; Malin Holst, York Osteoarchaeology Ltd.

Isotopic analyses and dating

Dr Geoff Nowell, Dr Darren Gröcke and Joanne Peterkin, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University; Dr Janet Montgomery, Durham University; Professor Christophe Lécuyer, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1; Dr Charlotte O’Brien, Archaeological Services; Laura Dodd, Jessica Blesch, Margaret Scollan, Jordan Rex, Katherine Ulewicz, formerly MSc students of Durham University.

Site Location and Historical background

Dr Adrian Green, Department of History, Durham University; Gemma Lewis, Durham University Museums; Alex Croom, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums; Norman Emery, Resident Cathedral Archaeologist, Durham Cathedral; Professor Peter Rowley-Conwy, Department of Archaeology, Durham University.

Durham University would also like to thank

Jeff Veitch, Department of Archaeology, Durham University, for his photography; Professor Matthew Collins, Department of Archaeology, University of York, for his advice throughout the project; Ather Mirza, Director of Press, Leicester University, for sharing his experiences of the Richard III project; North News & Pictures for their work on photography and the video content.