PhD (via MPhil) Studentship: A bioarchaeological understanding of lifecycle identity and the lived experiences of children during the Early Medieval period in Britain

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Preston, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 11 Apr 2022

Applications are invited for a PhD (via MPhil) studentship within the Centre for Field Archaeology and Forensic Taphonomy in the School of Natural Sciences. The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years full time (subject to satisfactory progress). The studentship will provide an annual stipend (living expenses) of £15,609 per year. Tuition fees at UK/home rates will be covered (current rates for UK/Home students are £4550 per annum). International applicants may apply but will be required to pay the difference in tuition fees (Current rates for EU/international are £15,600 per annum).

It is expected the successful applicant will commence September 2022.

Project Title:

A bioarchaeological understanding of lifecycle identity and the lived experiences of children during the Early Medieval period in Britain

Project Description:

Over the last 20 years the study of children in archaeology has been increasingly researched as archaeologists have realised the importance of researching children as a conduit to accessing information beliefs, religion, economy, and social behaviour of people in the past. The experience of children in the past would have been highly diverse and intrinsically linked to the region that they lived in and the chronological period in which they existed. An area that requires further exploration is the changing lifecycle of children and how their role and identity changed from infancy through to adolescence, and how this may have impacted on their lived experiences. In order to access this information a holistic approach towards examining childhood in archaeology is needed, integrating bioanthropology, biomolecular archaeology, and wider burial archaeology to understand life and death of children in the past, and what this might tell us about the changing role that children occupied in the past.

This project will use early Medieval assemblages of children held within the archaeology collections in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire, and any other suitable assemblages identified by the candidate to understand more about the lived experiences and lifecycle identity of children found at these sites. Initial osteoarchaeological analysis, and palaeopathological studies will be used to characterise the ages and general health of the individuals buried at these sites. Tooth metrics and statistical analysis will be used to explore familial relationships between children and adults within the cemetery sites. Stable isotope analysis will help to explore the changing diets of individuals throughout their different phases of childhood. The archaeological context of graves including burial orientation, grave goods, grave associations, body positioning will be considered alongside these wider bioanthropological approaches to create a holistic understanding of the individuals buried and what this might tell us about their changing roles during different lifecycle stages of childhood and adolescence

Further information

Informal project related enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Jennifer Jones (

For the application form and full details go to:

Completed application forms should be returned to the Research Admissions email    quoting the studentship reference number RS/22/13.

Closing Date: Monday 11th April 2022

Proposed Interview Date: Week commencing 9th May 2022


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