Services 2017-01-12T20:40:42+00:00

Archaeological Burials Company formerly provided the following services –

Skeletal Analysis

Complete full human skeletal analysis with report tailored to your needs. This is completed to all the current standards (Mays, Brickley, and Dodwell 2004, Brickley and McKinley 2004) and will include a skeleton catalogue and digital photographs. Data on the age, sex, cranial metrics and cranial morphology, post cranial metrics and non metric traits, stature, dentition and dental health, pathology and trauma is recorded. All recording is to the highest professional standards and kept up to date with recent advances in the field of osteoarchaeology and current guidelines.

Rapid analysis is a method suitable to post medieval skeletons in a good state of preservation. It is particularly useful where remains have to be analysed on site (such as churchyards) and comprises a scaled down recording system to extract the most vital data from the individuals.

Assessment of Human remains for fulfillment of MoRPHE recommendations (formerly MAP2) is also available. This will rapidly evaluate the potential of the remains producing accurate and detailed costs for further work.

Disarticulated human bone (whether charnel or from prehistoric long barrow) is examined for Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) and pathological lesions.

All reports can be summarised for inclusion in journals or adapted for publication.

Funerary practice can also be discussed where required.
Work with the remains can be completed at your office, on site or in the lab.

Cremated Human Bone

Cremated Human bone is a common finding from archaeological sites. This is examined and analysed and a report completed with information about the individual as well as the pyre and deposition of the bone. Funerary practice is an essential part of cremated human remains report. I can provide advice on excavation technique for burnt bone deposits.


As a specialist in all burial–related issues, ABC can provide advice on the legal (current legislation) requirements for the mitigation where burials are expected. Or advice where burials have been revealed where they were unexpected.

Advice for building development to limit the impact in known burial grounds, or how much removal of human remains may cost.

Upstanding memorials, gravestones and monuments, and how development may impact on them and the requirements for their removal.

Help and advice for skeletons in storage, whether held at a local society or museum or other.

Re-burial, advice on whether it is necessary and how to go about arranging it.

Processing bones, help and advice on cleaning and storing human bone.
Samples. How and when to take samples for specialist techniques such as radiocarbon dating, isotopic analysis and aDNA.


The metal fittings (which held together or decorated the coffins) and the departum and name plates give vital information as to the date of the burial, social standing of the individual and often the name and age of the individual. Using a compiled catalogue of known date range coffin fittings ABC can produce a report on these finds. Where coffin wood is preserved these can also be recorded. Research can be completed on the names of individuals to investigate relationship or occupation or to build a picture of the population.


Recording of upstanding monuments can be carried out using standard terminology (Mytum 2000) and a catalogue and report compiled. Research on the named individuals is also available.



Aerial photograph examination and research at the Historic England Archive, Swindon. ABC is located in very close proximity to this excellent resource for DBAs and EIAs and can save time and project costs in travel and staffing by visiting the HE Archive on your behalf. As an experienced archaeologist I can examine the photographs for signs of archaeological activity, then send a short comment, and where appropriate copies of the photos, to you.


Archival Research. ABC can visit the archive offices and any museums (and their resource centres) in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire for document and map research. The information can then be scanned and emailed to you for a rapid result. In addition, ABC can undertake research projects, especially in relation to historic persons search.

The advantages of using ABC are time and project costs. Archive visits are costed by the half day.

The main archives are: Oxfordshire Record Office, Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Gloucestershire Archives, Berkshire Record Office. In addition the county museums hold copies of all the archaeological excavation reports deposited from work in their county.

Family history research or tracing your ancestors, is a popular past time. However, accurate research and knowledge of the sources is a common limitation. ABC has experience in this area and strives to provide a detailed and accurate search of individuals and families.


Human remains are to be treated with care and respect, which can be difficult to reconcile with public education. I can provide information and advice on the current ethical and legal issues surrounding the care and display of human remains and help produce these displays.

I am available for public talks on particular sites or human remains analysis (osteology)  in general.

I have run adult education courses and workshops on archaeological human remains. Details of any future courses will be posted on this website.

On site

It can be very beneficial to have an human osteologist on site where a large number of burials are expected, or they are inter-mingled. Cremation burials and pyre sites especially benefit from experienced knowledgeable staff. Sharon Clough has supervised many burial excavations and trained staff in excavation of human remains. At the planning stage, I can provide advice on strategy and level of recording necessary.

Church of England burials and consecrated graveyards often require the human remains to stay on site. Sharon Clough has worked on a number of these sites where new floors, pipes and footpaths encounter human remains. ABC provide on site analysis of the remains, which allows for their immediate re-burial without losing the valuable information.

Bone identification

Is it human or animal? bone can be identified at no cost. Send digital photographs or bring the bone to the office for a free identification.


Advice on scientific techniques

Analysis of isotopes is becoming increasingly common to test for geographical location in childhood and diet. In addition aDNa is being used to identify to the individual level for specific case studies. Advice can be given as to the suitability of the material for analysis, how to take the sample and which labs to use. Results can also be interpreted.