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The BARC Collections

The collections of human remains curated in the BARC are large, varied, and cover a considerable time span from the Neolithic to the 19thcentury. It is the largest collection of human skeletal remains used for teaching in an archaeology department in the UK. Most of our collections come from England, and were excavated by different field units or research projects as a result of the planning process. You can find further details below.

 

Prehistoric

  • Wetwang Slack, East Yorkshire (Bronze Age and Iron Age, c.450 individuals)*
  • Barton-under-Needwood (Bronze Age cremations)

* On loan from the Hull and East Riding Museum

Roman

  • Baldock, Hertfordshire (139 individuals)
  • Kingsholm, Gloucester (51 individuals)**
  • Various Roman sites from around Gloucester, many of whom have evidence of pathology (40 individuals)**
  • Piccadilly, York (9 individuals)
  • Odiham, Hampshire (5 individuals)

** On loan from Gloucester City Council Heritage and Museums Service

Anglo-Saxon

  • Eccles, Kent (7th century and later, 171 individuals)
  • Raunds, Northamptonshire (10th to 11th centuries, 357 individuals)
  • Crayke, North Yorkshire (9th to 10th centuries, 21 individuals)
  • Sancton, East Yorkshire (23 cremations, 5th to 6th centuries)*

* On loan from the Hull and East Riding Museum

Medieval

  • St. James and St. Mary Magdalene, Chichester, West Sussex (leprosarium and alms house, early 12th to 17th century, 374 individuals)***
  • St. Giles, Brough, North Yorkshire (rural hospital, 92 individuals)
  • Blackfriars, Gloucester (Dominican Friary, 1246 to 1539 AD, 192 individuals)**
  • Hereford Cathedral (lay cemetery including, two large plague pits, Late Saxon to Medieval, c. 1200 individuals)
  • Box Lane, Pontefract (lay cemetery, 88 individuals)
  • Towton (mass grave related to the Battle of Towton, 1461 AD, 37 individuals)

** On loan from Gloucester City Council Heritage and Museums Service
***On loan from Chichester District Museum

Post Medieval

  • St Peter's Wolverhampton (urban, 19th century, 150 individuals)
  • Hickleton, South Yorkshire (rural, medieval and post medieval, 28 individuals)
  • Helmsley, North Yorkshire (rural Quaker cemetery, 19th century, 7 individuals)

International Collections

  • Niah Caves, Sarawak, Malaysia (Neolithic, 56 individuals)

In addition, small numbers of skeletons or skeletal elements from many different archaeological sites are curated at the BARC. Most of these have interesting pathological conditions, and are used extensively in our teaching and research.

The skeletal collections held by the BARC are continuously added to with populations coming to the laboratory for research or for analysis on a contractual basis, many of which are returned to museums and archaeological contractors following analysis.