Staff Profile


Dr Ellie Williams

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922451

Profile summary


I am an archaeologist primarily specialising in human osteology and zooarchaeology. My research interests include funerary archaeology, medieval history and archaeology, medieval monasticism, and faunal foodways. Through a range of ongoing collaborations, I have also developed a particular interest in the role and impact of community archaeology and heritage projects/sites. I hold a BA in Archaeology, an MA in Osteoarchaeology, and a PhD, all from the University of Southampton, where I have also taught at undergraduate and Masters level.

Alongside Dr Lesley Hardy (CCCU) and Dr Mike Bintley (Birkbeck), I am collaborating on the HLF community project 'Finding Eanswythe: the Life and Afterlife of an Anglo-Saxon Saint', which is exporing 1400 years of Folkestone's past (

I am collaborating with the British Museum and the University of Southampton on the Amara West Project, northern Sudan. Alongside Dr Jaco Weinstock, we are exploring daily life in a New Kingdom Egyptian-administrated town through the zooarchaeological remains. 

Teaching and subject expertise

I am convening the modules Introduction to Archaeology, Life and Death in Medieval Europe, The Archaeology and Anthropology of Death and Burial, and Bones and Bodies: Introduction to Osteoarchaeology. I also contribute to Archaeological Skills, Archaeology in Context, and the Foundation Level Programme.

I am first supervisor for two PhD students: Lisa Duffy (CCCU scholarship) on osteobiographical narratives of the people of late Roman Canterbury and Grace Conium (AHRC CDP with MOLA) on the impact of heritage and community archaeology on Kentish coastal communities. 

External activities

Conference and session organisation

2016, Building through time and space, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Uni. Southampton (session co-organiser with J. Jones, P. Copeland, C. Cooper and M. Harrison).

2014, Buildings and the body: exploring living and building in the medieval and early modern world, Uni. Southampton (conference organiser with J. Jones, P. Copeland, C. Cooper, M. Harrison, and T. Dhoop).

2012, Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Uni. Liverpool (session organiser with B. Hausmair, B. Jervis, and R. Nugent).

2012, Death Rules! Maintaining and Transgressing Funerary Rules across Medieval Europe, International Medieval Congress, Uni. Leeds (session organiser with B. Hausmair, B. Jervis, and R. Nugent).

Selected research presentations and invited talks

2018, Folkestone Project: Archaeology, Heritage, and Wellbeing, The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge (Canterbury), The Centre for Heritage, University of Kent

2018, A morsel too hard for time to consume: exploring the heritage of life and death in Folkestone, CCCU, FCAT seminar series (with Dr Lesley Hardy)

2018, The People Before Us Project: Heritage and Wellbeing in Coastal Kent, Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being Conference, Bournemouth University (with Dr Lesley Hardy)

2017, Archaeology, heritage and wellbeing in a rapidly changing seaside town, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Cardiff University (with Dr Lesley Hardy and Diarmaid Walshe)

2016, The medieval monastic death ritual: archaeology and the Cluniac customaries, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Uni. Southampton.  

2012, ‘Between text and practice: rules and the Cluniac death-course’, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Uni. Liverpool.

2012, ‘Rules and the Cluniac death-course’, International Medieval Congress, Uni. Leeds.

2011, ‘Les rites funéraires Clunisiens: présentation d’une recherche comparative en cours. Les rencontres médiévales de Saint-Leu, Saint Leu d’Esserent.

Publications and research outputs

2021 (Forthcoming) 'Cluniac funerary practices'. In. C. J. Knusel and E. M. J. Schotsmans (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Archaeothanatology (Routledge)

2020. Finding Eanswythe: The Life and Afterlife of an Anglo-Saxon Saint (with J. Doherty, L. Hardy and A. Richardson) (CCCU), ISBN 978-1-909067-94-3

2019. 'The People Before Us Project': Exploring heritage and wellbeing in a rapidly changing seaside town. In T. Darvill, K. Barrass, L. Drysdale, V. Heaslip and Y. Staelens (eds), Historic Landscapes and Mental Wellbeing (with Lesley Hardy) (Archaeopress), 215-227. 

2019. Holey Goats: multiple cases of supratrochlear foramina in the humerus of caprines from the New Kingdom pharaonic town of Amara West, north Sudan (with J. Weinstock and N. Spencer), Environmental Archaeology: The Journal of Human Palaeoecology 24(3), 263-268.  

2018. Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation: Between Text and Practice (edited with B. Hausmair, B. Jervis and R. Nugent) (Berghahn). ISBN  978-1-78533-765-9.

2018. 'Medieval monastic text and the treatment of the dead: an archaeothanatological perspective on adherence to the Cluniac customaries'. In B. Hausmair, B. Jervis, R. Nugent and E. Williams (eds), Archaeologies of rules and regulation: between text and practice (Berghahn).

2016. ‘Los textiles elaborados con cuentas perforadas’. In A. Fernández Flores, L. García Sanjuán and M. Díaz-Zorita Bonilla (eds.) Montelirio (Castilleja de Guzmán, Sevilla)Un Gran Monumento Megalítico de la Edad del Cobre (with Marta Díaz-Guardamino, David W. Wheatley and José Ángel Garrido González). Junta de Andalucia, Consejería de Cultura, 345-364.

2012. ‘Rites funéraires Clunisiens: un examen des recherches antérieures et une proposition pour de futurs travaux’, in D. Hanquiez and A. Petit (eds), Saint-Leu-d'Esserent et l'implantation monastique dans la basse vallée de l'Oise. Amiens: CAHMER, 59-70 


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00