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The Archaeology of the Victorian Dead

Saturday, 18 May 2013 from 10:30 to 16:15

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The University of Bristol and Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Archaeology Symposium

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council


The Archaeology of the Victorian Dead


Saturday 18 May 2013 at M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol

10:30am – 4.15pm



Find out about the archaeology of our Victorian dead at this one-day event with presentations from professionals in the field and posters highlighting recent academic study.

Discover how cemeteries and crypts are excavated, why remains are analysed and the issues surrounding research and display.


10:30-11:00     Registration


11:00-11:10     Welcome and introduction


Session 1:    Excavating our Victorian dead


11:10-11:30     Time is money! How do we deal with excavations of post-medieval cemeteries?

Natasha Powers, Museum of London Archaeology


11:30-11:50     Lifting the lid on the wealthy: What are the challenges of crypt clearances, why is it carried out and what is the value of such work?

Angela Boyle, Burial Archaeology Consultant


11:50-12:00     Questions


12:00-1:30       Lunch (not provided). During the break, explore the M Shed and the posters relating to the study of skeletons


Session 2:    The importance of analysis


1:30-1:50         What does the analysis of individuals who died during the Great Irish Famine add to our knowledge and understanding of this tragic period?

Dr Jonny Geber, Queen's University Belfast Alumni


1:50-2:10         Broken bones; accidents or violence? The evidence from mid 1700s to mid 1800s from the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Dr Annsofie Witkin, University of Bristol


2:10-2:20         Questions


2:20-2:50         Coffee break


Session 3:    The ethics of display


2:50-3:10         Rebury or retain? The legal position, the arguments for and against and what does the public think?

Dr Simon Mays, English Heritage


3:10-3:30         The Rioter’s arm bone – Display of human remains at M Shed.

Gail Boyle, Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives


3:30-3:50         Would you put your great granny on display? The display

                        of Post Medieval human remains in a museum context.

Jelena Bekvalac, Museum of London


3:50-4:00         Questions


4:00-4:15         Summary and Close

Professor Kate Robson Brown, University of Bristol

Do you have questions about The Archaeology of the Victorian Dead? Contact the organiser

When & Where

M Shed
Princes Warf
Wapping Road
BS1 4RN Bristol
United Kingdom

Saturday, 18 May 2013 from 10:30 to 16:15

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