We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Professor Janet Montgomery, BSc (Hons) 1st class, PhD

Professor in the Department of Archaeology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42980
Room number: 204A

Contact Professor Janet Montgomery (email at

Graduated in Archaeological Science (BSc Hons. 1st class) in 1996 University of Bradford

Received her NERC funded doctorate in 2002 University of Bradford.

2003- 2007 NERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bradford,

2007-2010 was Lecturer in Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford

Janet’s doctoral thesis awarded in 2002 (available to download from the AHDS website: was the first study to apply combined radiogenic lead and strontium isotope analysis to British archaeological humans. It explored such topics as how enamel lead compositions of archaeological humans become culturally focussed following the widespread use of metals, differential diagenesis of enamel, dentine and bone and the potential of lead and strontium to identify migration to, and within, Britain.
She has published her work in the journals of several disciplines: archaeological, biological, geochemical, geological and environmental. With various collaborators and students, Janet is currently working on a wide range of archaeological projects of humans and animals ranging in date from the Neolithic to the 19th century and funded by the NERC, AHRC, ESRF, Wellcome, British Academy, Royal Archaeological Institute, Royal Irish Academy, Leverhulme Trust, English Heritage and Historic Scotland. Of note is the Beaker People Project (PIs Profs. Parker-Pearson, Richards and Chamberlain) and The Gristhorpe Man Project which she co-directs with Nigel Melton. The Gristhorpe Man monograph was published in December 2013 by Oxbow.

In addition to archaeological case studies, her research continues on the two main themes of her NERC fellowship which are fundamental to a better understanding of how isotope analysis can be applied to archaeological questions of diet and mobility. These are the timing, duration and progression of enamel biomineralization and how it impacts on the dietary and mobility information obtained, and with her long-standing collaborator Professor Jane Evans at the British Geological Survey, environmental mapping of biosphere 87Sr/86Sr in Britain so the data obtained from humans and animals can be interpreted. The map published in 2010 is regularly updated and available here:




Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


Working Paper

Research Groups

  • Bioarchaeology Research Group

Research Projects

  • A re-appraisal of the Early Neolithic Inhabitants of Shetland
  • Adolescence, Migration and Health in Medieval England: the osteological evidence
  • Building Silbury Hill - where did the antler picks come from?
  • Managing Risk in Early Complex Societies
  • The Gristhorpe Man Project
  • Timelines in Teeth: investigating the timing and pattern of enamel maturation in developing human teeth

Selected Grants

  • 2019: A multi-isotope base map for Jordan: a tool for re-examining movement and community in the past (£200405.00 from AHRC)
  • 2019: Food, Culture and Identity in Ireland, 1550-1650 (£156353.22 from Interreg (ERDF) Europe)
  • 2017: Diet migration and health in the context of Medieval Mortality Crisis (£71779.00 from AHRC)
  • 2015: People and Place in the Kingdom of Northumbria AD 300 - 800 (£275742.00 from Leverhulme Trust)