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Mrs Anthea Boylston

PositionResearch Fellow in Biological Anthropology
DepartmentSchool of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 235427
EmailA.Boylston@bradford.ac.uk

Research Interests (key words only)

palaeopathology

Biography

Anthea has been carrying out contract work in human remains from archaeological sites for the past sixteen years.

She has worked for archaeological units all over the country and on collections dating to all periods from the prehistoric to the post-medieval.

She was involved in the excavation and post-excavation analysis of the first mass grave from a known battle to be found in Britain. This resulted in a multidisciplinary study in collaboration with members of staff from the Royal Armouries, which she organised. It was co-edited with Christopher Knüsel and Veronica Fiorato.

She recently participated in a project with the curatorial staff of the Norton Priory Museum and Gardens which linked evidence of disease found on the skeleton with the medicinal plants utilised for treatment in the medieval period. This was televised in the Hidden Gardens series on BBC2.

Since completing her Master’s Degree at the University of Bradford in 1991, Anthea has participated in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences and in instructing palaeopathologists from all over the world on our short courses in the Biological Anthropology Research Centre laboratory.

Professional Activities

  • Founder member of British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology
  • Member of the Palaeopathology Association
  • Joint editor of the forthcoming monograph on the excavations at the medieval leprosy hospital of St James and St Mary Magdalene in Chichester and of the second edition of Blood Red Roses, the monograph on the Towton project

Research Areas

The main focus of Anthea’s research has been in the field of Palaeopathology and has arisen out of the contracts that she has undertaken.

The Norton Priory project resulted in an important study of Paget’s disease in the medieval period. Similarly, the Hull Magistrates’ Court assemblage contained an unusually large number of cases of treponemal disease.

The excavation at Kempston produced a number of Romano-British individuals who had been subjected to decapitation around the time of death and the Towton project was also an investigation related to trauma which occurred around the time of death.

By contrast, investigations of nearly 1,200 skeletons from Hereford Cathedral have produced a high prevalence of tuberculosis of the spine and instances of unusual congenital conditions. Originally, Anthea’s MSc dissertation focussed on osteoarthritis and lateralisation in relation to activity. This is a topic which has continued to interest her over the years.

In addition to the publications that she is involved in editing at present, it is anticipated that the Hereford Cathedral project will result in a monograph which will be prepared during the next year or so.

Publications

 

  • Magilton, J., F. Lee & A. Boylston (ed.) 2008. 'Lepers at the gate'. Excavations at the cemetery of the hospital of St James and St Mary Magdalene, Chichester, 1986-93. York: Council for British Archaeology
  • Arabaolaza, I., P. Ponce & A. Boylston 2007. Skeletal analysis. In J. Adams and K. Colls (ed.) "Out of darkness cometh light": life and death in 19th-century Wolverhampton: BAR British Series. 25-38. Oxford: Archaeopress
  • Fiorato, V., A. Boylston & C. J. Knüsel (ed.) 2007. Blood red roses: the archaeology of a mass grave from the battle of Towton (2nd edition). Oxford: Oxbow.
  • Ponce, P., I. Arabaolaza & A. Boylston 2007. Industrial accident or deliberate amputation? Three case studies from a Victorian population in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. In S. R. Zakrzewski and W. White (ed.) Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the British Association for Biological Anthropology & Osteoarchaeology: BAR International Series 1712. 36-42. Oxford: Archeopress
  • Boylston, A. & A. R. Ogden 2005. A study of Paget's disease at Norton Priory, Cheshire, England: a medieval religious house. In S. R. Zakrzewski and M. Clegg (ed.) Proceedings of the fifth annual conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology: British Archaeological Reports International Series 1383. 69-76. Oxford: Archaeopress
  • Ogden, A., A. Boylston & T. Vaughan 2005. Tallow Hill Cemetery, Worcester: the importance of detailed study of post-mediaeval graveyards. In S. R. Zakrzewski and M. Clegg (ed.) Proceedings of the fifth annual conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology: British Archaeological Reports International Series 1383. 51-58. Oxford: Archaeopress
  • Boylston, A. 2004. Palaeopathology - Roman inhumations from Kempston. In M. Dawson (ed.) Archaeology in the Bedford region: British Archaeological Reports British Series No. 373. 322-50. Oxford: Archaeopress
  • Boylston, A., S. Novak, T. Sutherland, M. Holst, J. Coughlan & C. Knüsel 2004. Archaeology and anthropology of medieval warfare: an investigation of burials from the Battle of Towton, AD 1461. Medieval History Magazine 10: 50-7.
  • Boylston, A. 2000. Evidence for weapon related trauma in British archaeological samples. In M. Cox and S. Mays (ed.) Human osteology in archaeology and forensic medicine: 357-80. London: Greenwich Medical Media
  • Boylston, A., C. J. Knüsel, C. A. Roberts & M. Dawson 2000. Investigation of a Romano-British rural ritual in Bedford, England. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 27: 241-254.
  • Fiorato, V., A. Boylston & C. Knüsel (ed.) 2000. Blood red roses: the archaeology of a mass grave from the battle of Towton AD 1461. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • Knüsel, C. J. & A. Boylston 2000. The human remains in their medieval context. In V. Fiorato, A. Boylston and C. J. Knüsel (ed.) Blood Red Roses: The Archaeology of a Mass Grave from Towton, A.D 1461: 169-188. Oxford: Oxbow Books

 

 

In the News/Media

Participated in a project with the curatorial staff of the Norton Priory Museum and Gardens which linked evidence of disease found on the skeleton with the medicinal plants utilised for treatment in the medieval period.

This was televised in the Hidden Gardens series on BBC2.

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