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Gaynor Western BA(Hons), MSc, MCIfA currently works on the post-excavation assessment and analysis of archaeological human skeletal remains from throughout the UK. Over the past 23 years, she has worked on several excavation projects in London and the West Midlands, undertaking all aspects of archaeological projects involving human remains, including recording, lifting, processing, washing, assessment, analysis and reburial. She has written numerous professional reports and holds a considerable portfolio of clients. The sites that Gaynor regularly deals with include inhumated and cremated human remains from all periods in the UK, ranging from rare individual prehistoric burials to over 300 individuals and large quantities of disturbed remains from churchyards.  Her extensive experience allows her to provide the necessary insight into efficiently providing the relevant methodologies and contexts for each project.

Gaynor also engages with the latest scientific analytical techniques and is able to provide advice on the feasibility of applying currently available technologies to a project, enabling her to ensure that each client has an outline of potential output from the outset so that costings are effective and projects run to budget. She is able to integrate digital radiography and stable isotope analysis into ongoing professional projects, undertaken commercially, as part of associated research projects or as student studies. She has also recently undertaken training using photogrammetry to create 3D models of skeletal elements. This side of her work has led her to undertake a number of funded research projects in association with external colleagues at Worcestershire Archaeology, the Museum of London and at Durham University, culminating in several publications, including the co-authored Manufactured Bodies: The Impact of Industrialisation on London Health, which was nominated for the Current Archaeology Book Of the Year 2021.


Disarticulated assemblages; Iron Age peri-mortem trauma, warfare and mobility;  post-medieval anatomized remains and hospital assemblages; palaeopathology, the impact of industrialisation on women’s health; detecting malaria in the Anglo-Saxon period using skeletal indicators; spatial epidemiology using GIS; digital radiography; 3D modelling.



Matilda Holmes BSc, MSc, PhD has been a consultant archaeozoologist since 1997 and is an experienced archaeozoologist with a broad spectrum of knowledge. She works for numerous commercial units producing evaluation, assessment, archive and publication reports to a high standard. She works with animal remains dating from the Mesolithic to modern and all periods in between, on projects as small as a few fragments from a single feature, to large, complex multi-feature, multi-period settlement sites. She has a good understanding of major social, cultural and economic themes relating to all periods of British archaeology, to place archaeozoological findings in their wider context. Although the majority of work undertaken comes from the United Kingdom, Matilda has also worked on projects from countries as diverse as Russia, Afghanistan, Italy and the republic of Ireland. Larger scale research projects are also undertaken, tailored to specific aims as required. Advice can be provided relating to retention and discard policies.


The identification of bones and teeth useful for C14 dating and isotope analysis can be provided, and advice given relating to the use of biomolecular techniques for answering research questions. She is also experienced with educational outreach and works with local schools teaching various aspects of the curriculum from history to maths using animal remains and archaeological principles. She lectures at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and University of Nottingham, teaching zooarchaeology and environmental archaeology at undergraduate and masters level. She has professional membership of  the Association of Environmental Archaeology, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and International Council of ArchaeoZoology.


Xenia-Paula Kyriakou BA(Hons), MA, PhD c.pd is a human remains specialist with 15 years experience in archaeology, osteoarchaeology, and more than 10 years experience in forensic anthropology (United Nations, CMP Bi-communal Forensic Team, various governments). She is professinally active in all disciplines, both in the UK as well as abroad. She has experience working within the planning and development framework of commercial archaeology in the UK. She has worked for a local authority and archaeological units in the UK. She has experience processing planning applications and working with HERs to produce WSIs, project designs, interim/final reports etc.

Over the years, Xenia-Paula worked on a variety of cemetery sites with single inhumation burials as well as commingled/disarticulated or mass grave contexts, adult and subadult/juvenile remains. She has experience working and processing small-scale and large-scale cemetery sites, as well as cemeteries of multiple burial phases. She is familiar with crypt archaeology, crypt recording and analysis. Xenia-Paula has extensively worked in contemporary cemetery grounds, modern and ancient churchyards, for purposes of exhumation and removal of unidentified remains, but she also managed the movement of cemetery sites to alternative locations and assisted in the reburial and repatriation process.

Xenia-Paula is based in the UK and currently works on the post-excavation analysis (incl. washing, recording, database input and development, publication) of osteological assemblages from various archaeological sites in the UK, Cyprus and Spain, dating from Prehistory to the late 1800s. She also works offering consultancy and expertise in human osteology, burial and funerary archaeology, management and curatorship of human remains, and policy development. Additionally, she teaches osteoarchaelogy and forensic anthropology as a visiting lecturer at different institutions in the UK, as well as running a major repatriation project in Cyprus while managing an osteological collection of up to 2000 individuals for the Diocese. Over the years she analysed more than 3000 skeletons and 9000 commingle elements. She has produced a large number of osteological and forensic reports, and she has experience with publication processes, research development and research management, and community outreach.


Ancient diseases; skeletal pathology and traumatology (perimortem and antemorte trauma, force and processes); Anglo-Saxon deviant burials; demographic analysis of populations, funerary patterns and burial practices (distribution analysis and age-sex clustering); markers of occupational stress (reconstruction of bio-occupational individual and population profiles); bioarchaeological analysis and assessment of monastic populations; dental anthropology; forensic bioarchaeology (incorporating forensic techniques to explain archaeological phenomena); ancient DNA (aDNA), biodistance and diet analysis (staple isotopes), bone dating techniques; disarticulated remains and reassociation of elements; human identification methods; digital radiography; photography; research and publication; teaching and training.



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