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Staff Profile

Ms Simone Lemmers, BA, MA (Research)

Contact Ms Simone Lemmers (email at


Before coming to Durham, I studied Prehistoric Archaeology at Leiden University (the Netherlands) with a focus in Human Osteoarchaeology and prehistoric burial practices. Apart from Leiden University, I have studied at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Tübingen. There I’ve developed my osteological knowledge further to the analysis cremated remains, histological assessment of cortical bone and Tooth Cementum Annulation (TCA) in dental remains. After my graduated in September 2011 from my Research Master degree, I’ve been employed as a research and teaching assistant of the laboratory for Human Osteoarchaeology (Leiden University), the department of Prehistoric Archaeology (Leiden University) , the Institute for Geo- and Bioarchaeology (University of Amsterdam) and I’ve worked as an osteological specialist for Stichting LAB.

Currently, I am a PhD candidate at Durham University in the field of Biological Anthropology. My project, called "Stress, life history, and dental development in primates" has taken my interest in the ability of hard tissues to reflect physiological stress on a micro scale to a new level. My PhD research will therefore focus on the influence of physiological stress on hard tissues in the context of human evolution studies. I will use teeth of naturally deceased mandrills from Gabon with known life histories to compare the timing of accentuated increments in their teeth with important life history events to test whether these events are indeed recorded in the dentition. The aim of this research is to establish a method that can be applied to fossil teeth of extinct hominin species, in order to provide a better understanding of the evolution of the life history of our own species. I think studying the schedule of these events in our own order, the primates, is key to understanding which characteristics are unique to Homo sapiens such as the extended period of childhood in modern human.

My PhD project is a co-operation between Durham University, the Newcastle University School of Dental Science and Primate Centre at the Centre Internationale de Recherches Médicales de Franceville in Gabon.

example of the histological slides. Copyright Dr. Wendy Dirks, Newcastle University

Conference Papers


  • BABAO, York: ‘Fragmentation and Selection: cremation studies from the Dutch Bronze Age.’ 
  • Barge Forum, Barge’s Anthropologica. Verbrand maar niet verloren. Crematiepraktijken in de Europese Prehistorie.
  • National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) 2013, Leiden. Transformation through Destruction. ‘Het vuur aan de schenen, de vorst van Oss herzien.’


  • PPA, Lille. ‘The Chieftain of Oss: New perspectives on an Iron Age individual with DISH’.
  • Annual Alumni Lecture series, Gent University. ‘Burnt but not lost, the analysis of prehistoric cremations’.
  • BABAO, Bournemouth: ‘Histomorphological alterations of the femoral midshaft in an Iron Age individual with DISH: Diagnosis using Paleohistopathology?‘
  • Lunula - Archeology of the Metal Ages, Namur: ‘Burned Culture: Osteological research into Urnfield cremation technology and ritual. Application of microscopic analysis to teeth and dry bone material’.


Lemmers, S.A.M. 2013: Paleopathologie en de ziekte van Forestier. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Reumatologie 2013/1.

Lemmers, S.A.M. 2012: Burned culture; osteological research into Urnfield cremation 
technology and ritual in the South of the Netherlands. In: Lunula: archaeologia protohistorica. Namur, SBEC, Contactgroep Keltische en Komparatieve Studies, 81-88

Fokkens, H., Van der Vaart, S., Fontijn, D.R., Lemmers, S.A.M., Jansen, R,. Van Wijk., I
Valentijn, P. 2012: Hallstatt burials of Oss in context. In: Bakels, C. & Kamermans, H. The end of our fifth decade. Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 43/44. Leiden, 183-203.

Research interests

  • Biological Anthropology
  • Biological Archaeology and Osteoarchaeology
  • Human Evolution and Life History development
  • Ageing and stress
  • Histological assessment of hard tissues
  • European Prehistory
  • Cremation practices
example of mandrill skulls of which the dentition will be used for histological assessment. Copyright Dr. Wendy Dirks, Newcastle University

Society Memberships

- British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO):
(Board member: Student representative)

- NVFA (Dutch society for Physical Anthropology)

- Primate Society of Great Britain

- Society for the study of Human Biology

Supervised by

  • Dr. Jo Setchell, Durham University
  • Dr. Wendy Dirks, Newcastle University School of Dental Science
  • Dr. Trudi Buck, Durham University

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology