School of Anthropology & Conservation

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Kent Osteological Research & Analysis

Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (KORA) is an established unit in the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, offering osteological analyses of human skeletal remains.  All analyses follow the guidelines set forth by the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, The Institute of Field Archaeologists, and English Heritage.


We regularly run workshops, open to all, for people with an interest in archaeology, forensic anthropology or bioarchaeology. Future events will be posted on this page when evailable for booking. Previous courses include:

Medieval Burials in Canterbury:
Marlowe Building, Canterbury Campus
Participants will learn how to identify and handle real archaeological human skeletal remains. The two-day workshop will also introduce methods used to estimate age at death, biological sex and stature of an individual. In addition to the analysis of skeletal remains, various areas of funerary anthropology will be discussed such as, interpreting the grave, burial placement within the cemetery, and grave goods.

CSI at Kent:
Marlowe Building, Canterbury Campus
This two-day workshop will cover several aspects of forensic anthropology and archaeological methods used to recover human remains. Participants will learn how to handle human skeletal remains, identify human bone and teeth, build a biological profile and infer trauma.

Workshops are aimed at all levels, whether you are interested in studying bioarcheology, funerary or forensic anthropology at university, wish to brush up on your human osteology skills or are simply looking to expand your anthropological knowledge.
£75 per person per course: refreshments are provided but please bring your own lunch.


Our professional and highly qualified staff can provide on-site osteological advice. Post-excavation analyses include standard skeletal reports, databasing, and osteological research.  Specialist analyses are available: isotopic analyses (marine vs. terrestrial protein diet); electron microscopy (abrasiveness and hardness of diet); statistical inferential analyses of biometric data. Training workshops are available.


The unit is housed within the Human Osteology Research Lab at the University of Kent. The facility includes a 65 square metre climate controlled dedicated research laboratory. The lab was specifically set up for the storage and analysis of human remains.

Contact Information

Our consultant osteologist is Chris Deter
Telephone: 01227 (82)7927

Further details

On Site Osteology
Osteologists are available for on-site consultation to assist in retrieval and recording methods prior to and during the course of excavation. Preliminary assessment of human remains can also be made prior to relocation and reburial, or transportation to the University of Kent for further analyses.

Skeletal Analyses and Reports

Bio anthro lab photo

Biological anthropology lab

A standard report for a human skeleton from an archaeological context includes:

  • assessments of skeletal preservation
  • bone inventory
  • a dental inventory
  • estimation of the biological sex
  • estimation of age at death
  • estimation of stature
  • skeletal pathology
  • digital photographs

Additional information can also be included:

  • metric and non-metric measurement and variation
  • diet
  • identification of cultural modification
  • identification of taphonomy
  • demographic assessment
  • Access database of biological data

The analyses are presented as a scientific report with seven sections: an introduction, material, methods, analyses, results, discussion and summary.  Each report will be copied onto a CD-R and submitted to the client along with a bound paper copy.  Analyses of cremations are also undertaken.

Skeletal Databases
The unit can design and maintain Access databases that are created for biological data.

Osteological Research and Specialist Analyses
The unit specialises in human osteological research.  Experienced staff can provide specialists analyses in dietary inference: isotopic analyses; electron microscopy.   Statistical inferential analyses of biometric data are a particular strength of the unit, and advice can be given at all stages of an analytical design, from statistical approach to conducting multivariate tests.

Training Workshops
Training workshops in human osteology are increasingly required for professional archaeologists, as well as law enforcement officers and museum curators, to enable them to identify and handle human remains from an archaeological context.  Workshops include:

  • Excavating human remains
  • Identifying and recording human remains
  • Basic analytical approaches

Kora skeleton

School of Anthropology and Conservation - © University of Kent

School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe Building, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR, T: +44 (0)1227 827056

Last Updated: 02/07/2015