Ossafreelance: Human Osteoarchaeology

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Ossafreelance offers human osteoarchaeological services nationwide. We have extensive experience in all aspects of burial archaeology; from pre-planning, excavation, post-excavation assessment and analysis to archiving and the production of presentations and exhibitions.

This means we understand the issues surrounding the sensitive nature of cemetery excavations, and work to the guidelines set out by English Heritage and the Church of England.  We are able to negotiate the legal, ethical and practical aspects of handling human remains respectfully, ensuring positive outcomes for all stakeholders. We work closely to MoRPHE recommendations to optimise on-site strategies for retrieving and recording data from archaeological human skeletal assemblages, ensuring that the process of exhumation and post-excavation analysis is delivered on time and to budget.

We have expertise in the following areas:

Pre-Excavation Planning and Consultancy


  • Current legislation
  • Application for Exhumation Licenses and Faculties
  • Assessment of archaeological potential
  • Excavation and sampling strategies
  • Best practice on the treatment of human remains
  • Client confidentiality and media interest
  • Outreach and community projects


Excavation Management

  • Liaising with archaeological units
  • Health and Safety requirements
  • On site advice on excavation, lifting and conservation techniques
  • Strategies for disarticulated remains
  • Advice on suitable packing materials, labelling and recording
  • Advice on suitable transportation


Post-Excavation Assessment and Analysis

  • Appropriate post-excavation cleaning
  • Digital recording according to recognised standards (BABAO/CIfA)
  • Digital images
  • Production of reports according to national guidelines (BABAO/CIfA)
  • Archive creation
  • Assistance with further specialist analyses that maybe required, including: AMS carbon dating, stable isotope analysis, digital radiography, microscopy, 3D modelling.


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⊕ Publications

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