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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Publication details for Professor Rebecca Gowland

Gowland, R. L. (2017). Embodied Identities in Roman Britain: A Bioarchaeological Approach. Britannia 48: 175-194.

Author(s) from Durham


Human skeletal remains from Roman Britain are abundant and provide a rich repository of social as well as biological information concerning health, migration, diet and body/society interactions. At present, skeletal remains tend to be marginalised in studies of Roman trade, the military, economy, urbanisation and the like, yet they have huge potential to contribute to current debates. This article aims to highlight the potential of bioarchaeological analysis for understanding aspects of social identity in Roman Britain through the use of a more integrated, theoretical approach towards embodied interactions. It encourages future collaborative scholarship between bioarchaeologists, archaeologists and historians. The social determinants of health and identity will vary greatly between regions and the only way of establishing the diversity of life across the Roman Empire is through the instigation of a more comprehensive, large-scale, integrated study of funerary and skeletal assemblages.


Part of Themed Section New Approaches to the Bioarchaeology of Roman Britain.