Staff Profile


Dr Ellie Williams


School: School of Humanities

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 922451

Profile summary

I am an archaeologist specialising in human osteology and zooarchaeology. My research interests include funerary archaeology, osteoarchaeology and public engagement, medieval history and archaeology, medieval monasticism, and faunal foodways. 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.

Through my interest in osteoarchaeology and public engagement I have organised, and collaborated on, various events and activities for schools, community groups, the Young Archaeologists' Club, and as part of the Festival of British Archaeology.  I have also worked in southern England and Romania on field projects exploring prehistoric, Roman, and medieval sites.

Since 2014 I have been collaborating with the British Museum and the University of Southampton on the Amara West Project, northern Sudan, where alongside Dr Jaco Weinstock, I have been exploring daily life in a New Kingdom Egyptian town through the zooarchaeological remains. 

Teaching and subject expertise

I am convening the modules 'Introduction to Archaeology', 'Life and Death in Medieval Europe', and 'Bones and Bodies: Introduction to Osteoarchaeology'. I also contribute to 'Archaeological Skills' and 'Approaches to Archaeological Interpretation'.

I welcome postgraduate interest in any of the areas related to my research.

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

2017, Archaeology, heritage and wellbeing in a rapidly changing seaside town, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Cardiff University.

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

2013, ‘Fresh cadaver to skeletal matter: text, practice and the Cluniac death-course’, poster presentation, British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, Uni. York.

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.

2011, 'Cluniac burials', public talk to the University of Sussex Archaeological Society, Brighton.  

Publications and research outputs

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).

2017. 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.         

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.

2012. Assessing the risk of middle meningeal artery damage in pterional craniotomy: an anatomical appraisal using an adult dry skull population (with M. Glasson, K. Temple, M. Gilder, S. Inskip, J. Sofaer, and S. Border), Clinical Anatomy 25 (6), 802.

2012. Skeletons in dusty boxes: the use of dry skeletal samples in medical and osteoarchaeological research and teaching (with S. Inskip, K. Temple, M. Glasson, M. Gilder, J. Sofaer, and S. Border), Clinical Anatomy 25 (6), 803-804.


Connect with us

Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:33:00