The British and Irish On-line Database Index to Excavated human remainS

Andrew Millard and Charlotte Roberts

Human osteologists, physical anthropologists and archaeologists currently have great difficulty when they wish to discover what human remains have been excavated in Great Britain and Ireland, whether they have been studied, if they are curated and where they might be. This project seeks to remedy the problem with a freely accessible on-line database of excavated human remains from archaeological sites.

We propose a collaborative project to develop a database of human remains from archaeological sites in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland , the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man. This will provide a valuable resource for resident and foreign academic researchers from undergraduates to professors seeking to locate and access human remains germane to their research questions. It will also enable the state agencies which manage archaeological resources to know what has been excavated, to identify gaps in knowledge (e.g. by period or funerary context) and thus to place new or proposed excavations in a better context.

In the summer of 2003 we circulated a preliminary outline to about 30 individuals and organisations including the national museums and state heritage organisations of the five countries as well as universities we knew to hold significant osteological collections. Based on comments on this outline, we drafted an AHRB Resource Enhancement Scheme application for this project, which was further revised following comments from BABAO members, and submitted to the 28 May 2004 AHRB deadline. It can be viewed here.

Please send any comments to

Supported by:
British Association for Biological Anthropology and 

Andrew Millard

Page created: 04 July 2003 by Andrew Millard
Page last updated: 05 June 2004 by Andrew Millard