Dr Chris Deter

Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology,
Head of School,
Chief Examiner
+44 (0)1227 823537
Dr Chris Deter


Dr Chris Deter received her PhD in Biological Anthropology from UCL in 2005. She also holds an MSc in Osteology, Palaeopathology and Funerary Archaeology from the University of Sheffield (1999) and a BSc in Archaeology from Kansas State University (1996). She has participated in several archaeological fieldwork projects in the United States, Namibia, Israel, Nicaragua, Belize and Greece. She is currently  programme convenor for the MSc in Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods at the University of Kent.

Research interests

Dr Chris Deter’s research focuses on dietary reconstruction of ancient human populations. Currently, she is working on reconstructing diet during the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods in Kent, using chemical signatures retained in bones, known as stable isotopes. She uses stable isotopes combined with dental wear and pathology to investigate population social hierarchy, sexual differences within the community and weaning dietary changes in medieval children.

Chris is also interested in funerary practices in ancient populations. She explores differences between social structure, biological sex, age at death, burial placement and location within the cemetery.

Some of her previous research investigated the change in diets of North American and Near Eastern hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, looking at how different environments affected the rate at which teeth wear.  She also looked at how tooth wear can give insight on the eruption sequence and timing of dentition.



  • SE609: Forensic Anthropology
  • SE570: Current Issues in Evolutionary Anthropology (module convenor)
  • SE566: Human Osteology (module convenor)
  • ANTB5330: Independent Research Project
  • ANTB3020: Foundations of Biological Anthropology
  • ANTS3080: Academic and Research Skills


Dr Deter is the programme convenor of the MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods.

  • SE814: Advanced Human Osteology and Anatomy (module convenor)
  • SE813: Dissertation Project (module convenor)
  • SE816: Forensic Methods of Identification
  • SE817: Growth and Disease of the Human Skeleton
  • SE818: Field Excavation and Recovery Methods
  • SE992: Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Anthropology

Dr Deter also supervises MSc Dissertation students.


Dr Deter is interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of human osteology and dietary reconstruction.


Dr Chris Deter is the Director of Kent Osteological Research and Analysis unit (KORA), which is based in the School of Anthropology and Conservation.  This unit offers commercial osteological services to a range of public sectors, and works closely with the regional archaeological units, especially Canterbury Archaeological Trust, The Trust for Thanet Archaeology and SWALE.

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