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Department of Archaeology



I undertook my PhD at the University of Southampton where I focused on the emergence of Islamic Identity in early Medieval Iberia from a Bioarchaeological perspective. From 2013-2016 I worked as an assistant professor at Leiden University where my research focused both on the origins and spread of Hansen’s disease in England and other parts of Europe, as well as investigating changing health patterns in the Dutch post-medieval period. In 2016, I began my current role at the University of Cambridge on the Wellcome funded ‘After the Plague: Health and History in Medieval Cambridge’ project. In addition, I take part in the ‘Landscapes of Jebel Qurma Project’, hosted at Leiden University, by investigating the lives and deaths of individuals from an osteoarchaeological perspective. I continue to work on Hansen’s disease in Medieval Europe. 


I have multiple research interests which all derive from the data obtainable from ancient human skeletal remains. In particular, I am interested using social and scientific approaches to explore the human body to inform us on how changes in human behaviour can have significant implications for human health, both in the past but also the present. Currently, my research focuses on assessing the biological and social impact of the Black Death on the population of Medieval Cambridge as evidenced through interdisciplinary research, and in the origins and spread of Hansen’s Disease in Europe.


Key publications: 


Peer reviewed articles by date

SpyrouM,Keller M, Tukhbatova RI Scheib CL, Nelson EA, Valtueña AA, Neumann GU, Walker D, Alterauge A, Carty N, Cessford C, Fetz H, Gourvennec M, Hartle R, Henderson M, von Heyking K, Inskip SA, Kacki S, Key FM, Knox EL, Later C, Maheshwari-Aplin P, Peters J, Robb JE, Schreiber S, Kivisild T, Castex D, Lösch S, Harbeck M, Herbig A, Bos KI and Krause J. 2019. A phylogeography of the second plague pandemic revealed through the analysis of historical Yersinia pestis genomes. Nature Communications.


Robb JE, Inskip SA, Scheib C, Kivisild T, Cessford C, Wohns AW, Rose A, O’Connell T, Dittmar J, Mitchell P, Stock J and Mulder B. 2019 Osteobiography: the history of the body as real bottom-line history. Bioarchaeology International 3:16-31. 


Keller M, Spyrou MA, Scheib CA, Neumann GU, Kröpelin A, Haas-Gebhard B, Päffgen B, Haberstroh J, Lacomba AR, Raynaud C, Cessford C, Durand R, Stadler P, Nägele K, Bates JS, Trautmann B, Inskip SA, Peters J, Robb JE, Kivisild T, Castex D,McCormickM, BosKI, HarbeckM, HerbigA, KrauseJ. 2019. Ancient Yersinia pestis genomes from across Western Europe reveal early diversification during the First Pandemic (541-750 CE). PNAS.


Scheib C, Hui R, D’Anatasio E, Wohns AW, Inskip SA, Rose A, Cessford C, O’Connell, Robb JE, Evans C, Pattern R, and Kivisild T. 2019. East Anglian Early Neolithic Monument burial linked to contemporary Megaliths. Annals of Human Biology 43:145-149. 


Inskip SA, Scheib C, Kivisild T, Cessford C, Wohns AW, and Robb JE.  2019. Evaluating Macroscopic Sex Estimation Methods using Genetically Sexed Archaeological Material: The Medieval Skeletal Collection from St John’s Divinity School, Cambridge. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 168:340-351. DOI:10.1002/ajpa.23753.  


Inskip SA. Carroll G, Lopez O, and Waters-Rist A. 2019. Diet and food strategies in a southern al-Andalusian urban environment during Caliphal period, Écija, Sevilla. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-018-0694-7.


Carroll GMC, Inskip SA and Waters-Rist A. 2018. Pathophysiological Stable Isotope Fractionation: Assessing the Impact of Anaemia on Enamel Apatite δ18O and δ13C Values and Bone Collagen δ15N and δ13C Values. Bioarchaeology International 2:117-146. DOI: 10.5744/bi.2018.1021.


Blom A, Inskip S, Baesten W and Hoogland M. 2018.  Testing the accuracy of the clavicle ageing method on a Dutch post medieval collection. Archaeometry 60: 1391-1402.


Schuenemann VJ, Avanzi C, Seitz A, Krause-Kyora B, Herbig A, Benjak A, Inskip S,Boldsen J, Taylor GM, Singh P,Mays S, Donoghue HD, Zakrzewski S, Nieselt K, Cole ST, and Krause J. 2018. Genome wide spread study on European Leprosy.PloS Pathogens 14: e1006997.


Palmer JLA, Quintelier K, Inskip Sand Waters-Rist A. 2018. A comparison of two methods for recording entheseal change on a post-medieval urban skeletal collection from Aalst (Belgium). Archaeometry 61:211-225.


Inskip SA, Constantinescu M, Brinkman A, Hoogland ML and Sofaer J. 2018. Testing the Accuracy of Basal Occipital Measurements and their Discriminant Functions for Predicting Sex Using Four Documented Early Modern European Collections.Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 10: 675–683.


Inskip SA, Taylor GM, Anderson S, and Stewart G. 2017. Leprosy in Pre-Norman Suffolk: Biomolecular and Geochemical Analysis of the Woman from Hoxne. Journal of Medical Microbiology 66:1640-1649.  doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000606


Evans C, Sørensen ML, Allen MJ, Appleby J, Casimiro T, French C, Inskip S, Lima J, Newman R, Richter K and Scaife R. 2017. Finding Alcatrazes and early Luso-African settlement on Santiago Island, Cape Verde. Antiquity 91: e8 1-9. 


Carroll GMC, Waters-Rist A and Inskip SA. 2016. Intranasal Papilloma: A Suspected Case of Inverted Schneiderian Papilloma in the Choana of Adult Male from Post-Medieval Europe. International Journal of Palaeopathology 13:53-62.

Upson-Smith T. Atkins R, Blinkhorn P, Chapman A, Chapman P, Deighton K, Hylton T, Inskip S,Lord-Hart W and Timby J. 2016. A Middle to Late Saxon Cemetery at Rothley, The Grange. Trans. Leicestershire Archaeology and History Society 90:103-139. 


Carroll G, Waters-Rist A and Inskip SA. 2015. Assessing the impact of anaemia on stable isotope ratios using the medieval population of Écija, Spain.Journal of Palaeopathology 25: 16.


Inskip SA, Taylor GM, Zakrzewski SR, Mays SA, Pike AWG, Llewellyn G, Williams CM, Lee O Y-C, Wu HHT, Minnikin DE, Besra GS, and Stewart GR. 2015. Osteological, Biomolecular and Geochemical Examination of an Early Anglo-Saxon Case of Lepromatous Leprosy.PLoS One10: e0124282.


Raven MJ, Weiss L, Aston BG, Inskip Sand Warner N. 2015. Preliminary report on the Leiden-Turin Excavations at Saqqara, Season 2015: the tomb of an anonymous official (tomb x) and its surroundings. Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 45: 2-17.


Inskip SA. 2013. Islam in Iberia or Iberian Islam?  Religious and social factors in the development of religious identities. Post Classical Archaeologies3:63-93. 


Yates A, Chapman A, Inskip Sand Sheridan A. 2012. Crouched Inhumation burials at Norton Subcourse Quarry, Norfolk. The Proceedings of Prehistoric Society (PAST)70:2-3. 


Rowland J, Inskip Sand Zakrzewski S. 2010. The Ptolemaic-Roman Cemetery at the Quesna Archaeological Area.Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 96:31-48.


Peer reviewed book chapters by date

Inskip SA. 2017. Adherence to Islamic tradition and the formation of Iberian Islam in early medieval al-Andalus.In:  Hausmair B and Jarvis B (eds.). The Archaeology of Rules. Berghahn, Oxford, pp254-272.


Zakrzewski S, Wright S, andInskip SA. 2017.  Anglo-Saxon concepts of dis/ability: placing disease at Great Chesterford in its wider context.In: Byerns J. (ed.). Embodying Impairment: Towards a Bioarchaeology of Disability. pp269-289.


Inskip SA.2016. Reading the Islamic Body: Demonstrating the Potential of a Multifaceted Approach for Exploring Early Medieval Iberian Islamic Identity.In: Quirós Castillo JA (ed). Coloquio Demografia, Paleopatología y Desegualidad Social. Vitoria conference 2015. Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria, pp263-280.


Inskip SA. 2016. Death and life in Al-Andalus: Approaches to Funerary Archaeology and Osteoarchaeology.In: Carvajal JL (ed.). Al-Andalus in History and in Memory. Akkadia Press, pp39-45.


Inskip SA. 2009. The Human Bones.In: Foard-Colby A (ed.) Archaeological trial trench evaluation of land around Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. H18 Spencer’s Park Final report May - June 2008.  Northamptonshire Archaeology Report 08/169: 15-20. Northamptonshire: Northamptonshire City Council. 


Glazier D, Whitewright J, Peacock D, Zakrzewski S and Inskip S.2008. Samidi.  In: Peacock DP and Blue L (eds.). The Eritro-British Expedition to Adulis. Oxford: Oxbow, pp70-72.


Inskip SA. 2008. Great Chesterford:A Catalogue of Burials.In: Brickley M and Smith M (eds.) Proceedings of the 8th BABAO Annual MeetingBritish Archaeological Reports (International) Series 1743, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp57-66. 


Inskip SA. 2008. Human Bone. In: Carlyle S (ed.).  A Romano-British ‘ladder enclosure’ at Milton Ham, Northampton. Northamptonshire Archaeology Report 08/118. Northamptonshire: Northamptonshire City Council, pp14.

Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Human Population Biology and Health
Biomolecular Archaeology


Person keywords: 
Hansen’s Disease
Biological Anthropology
Science, Technology and Innovation
Human Evolutionary Studies
Geographical areas: 
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Other Historical