Study time at The Sackler Library

As soon as I received my last OCA course I applied for a Bodlein Libraries reading card. This allows me access to all of the Bodlein libraries during holiday times.

I have visited a few times to work towards my critical review but recently I visited The Sackler Library to browse the archaeology section.

I found the following books and spent some time in the library reading excerpts and taking notes.


Cherryson, A., Crossland, Z. and Tarlow, S. (2012) A fine and private place: The archaeology of death and burial in post-medieval Britain and Ireland. Leicester: University of Leicester School of Archaeology and Ancient History.
Duday, H., Cipriani, A.M. and Pearce, J. (2009)The archaeology of the dead: Lectures in Archaeothanatology. United Kingdom: David Brown Book Co.
Ortner, D.J. (2003)Identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains. 2nd edn. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Science.
The Spitalfields Report – Volume 1 – The Archeaology
A few interesting things came from my research and investigation.
  • When archaeologists excavate a burial some items of clothing often remain, particularly buttons. These can often help with basic identification of the remains. Military buttons in a mass grave show that it isn’t a civilian grave. Middle and upper class people often had initialled buttons.
  • The Spitalfields excavation – Coffins were packed with sawdust and/or straw to both support the body from rolling but also to absorb liquid from the decomposition.
  • Archaeological labelling of remains fascinates me and during this visit I started to consider the labelling in some of the images and how I might use this within my work.


  • Another point of interest in some imagery was the clasps used to hold a skull together after craniotomy
  • Also fragments – skulls not always complete and I like the idea of portraying unidentifiable bone like fragments with impressions.





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