Rebecca Gowland

Rebecca Gowland

I am a bioarchaeologist at Durham University, teaching and researching human skeletal remains. I also train national and international forensic practitioners in archaeology and anthropology.

Location UK

Activity

  • @OluwadamilareIsikalu feel free to email me separately to discuss this further

  • @CharlieT and @MelindaSofiaManceboPelacy let me know if you have any questions!

  • @lamismohammad I hope the course is useful. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

  • @SarahDerby what a great thing to do together! Enjoy!

  • @LaurenKemp welcome! I hope you enjoy the course!

  • @LisaN but some cultures believe that how we treat the dead can hurt them. And if we treat their ancestors poorly it also harms the living descendants, many of whom have experienced marginalisation. As a scientist, I would always argue that ethics comes first, then science. Do no harm.

  • @JanK I'm so awful that you had such horrific experiences. I hope you're okay.

  • @LucyPryce-Rattle feel free to email me directly if you want to discuss it further.

  • @ElinorVanDyck hi, yes it'll be here for a while yet. It will just run on demand now I believe.

  • @ChristinaNikopoulou feel free to email me directly if you want information on our MSc courses at Durham

  • @ThomasEdwardOsorio welcome. Do tag me into questions if you have any, otherwise I don't always see them.

  • @NormanMalcolmMacLeod different cultural and religious beliefs should be respected whether you agree with them or not. I'm pleased that archaeologists in Australia took steps to avoid further offense to the Aboriginal people.

  • @MacarenaAriasAravena sorry I've had to remove the link as our open access permissions must have run out.

  • Excavation experience on fieldschools, or better still being paid to excavate can help. Also MSc degrees should offer practical hands-on experience.

  • @StephenDedman welcome- we have had a number of crime writers do the course. I'd love to hear feedback at the end as to whether any of this learning makes it into your books!

  • @MahmoodMhaefod hello and welcome to the course. We offer 12 month programmes, but I don't know any 6 month programmes I'm afraid. I know that Cranfield University offer MSc block training and perhaps this would help you.

  • @ElinorVanDyck archaeologists looking at longer term environmental changes certainly do use differences in pollen types etc to map this over time.

  • @SharonHowe a lot if techniques are the same. It's the context that differs.

  • @KarenO can you email Future Learn to let them know. I have no control over these things from my end I'm afraid.

  • @SusanKerr the technique is still being tested, so more research is required in order to establish the limits of accuracy. It could certainly assist, alongside other anthropological techniques - e.g. pair matching, etc.

  • @JanAnderson I'm pleased you enjoyed the course and congratulations on passing the test! I'm so sorry to hear of this tragic case. I hope the relevant experts are being deployed.

  • @JanAnderson Y pestis isn't a problem - it doesn't survive.

  • @MichaelBeith if a body is wrapped in some man-made material, it may inhibit some scavengers and other taphonomic processes acting on the body. Metal objects adjacent to the body can create a microenvironment in the vicinity which can preserve organic material. For example, textile may be preserved against a brooch. If a body is contained within a sealed lead...

  • Welcome @HelenCollier ! We have trained a number of CSIs at Durham - I hope you enjoy the course!

  • @EtnerBassal welcome!

  • @DavidAdeyemi welcome!

  • @HayleyCampbell we offer one at Durham if you feel like travelling to the other side of the World!

  • @DonnaS for diagnosing a disease you need to look very carefully at the characteristics of the lesions and the pattern of distribution throughout the skeleton as these can be disease-specific. You would provide what's known as a differential diagnosis in which you would describe the characteristics of the lesions in relations to a number of possible causes,...

  • @CandyWelch it is a lot, but well done for sticking with it.

  • In some environments - particularly humid and warm - it can be very rapid.

  • @LyndaEllis thanks for sharing.

  • Well many of you seem to be very identifiable from your dentition! Really interesting dental procedures and pathology.

  • @JudithFinney that's really interesting to know - thank you for sharing.

  • @ClaireDickson interesting, thanks for sharing.

  • @MichaelBoyton A good point!

  • @BarryHaig thanks for sharing.

  • @LyndaEllis yes, I agree. Thank goodness for these organisations.

  • Really excellent observations here. You're doing brilliantly and I'm so impressed by how much information you've been able to absorb and put into practice within such a short time. Very well done!

  • Wow, what great (and gory!) stories you all have. Wishing you good bone health in the future!

  • Oh that sounds nasty.

  • @LyndaEllis It is shocking to see.

  • @LouiseBeilby that is very sad. If she had a primary bone tumour - i.e. one that hasn't metastasized from elsewhere then this tends to look different - often takes the form of proliferative bone growth rather than the destruction seen here.

  • @MichaelBoyton yes, a lot. Horrible to think of without modern pain relief.

  • @PaulineHey thanks for sharing. Yes, this is an interesting disease and we must be careful not to mix these lesions up with those produced by TB, which can also cause destructive lesions in the spine.

  • @CaterinaKeri for individual 2 this is the end stages of the disease.

  • @AmyLucas good work!

  • Great work here- your observational and descriptive skills have been really good- well done all!

  • @PaulineHey good work!

  • @AmyLucas well done!

  • @KarenO I'm not sure I'm afraid- sorry to hear this.

  • @SueFlipping sorry I've just seen this question. Please tag us in to questions otherwise I'm afraid it's easy for us to mix them! The answer is that these differences can even be seen after 100s of years. You may have seen the aerial photographs from the very dry summer several years ago. The drought revealed many subsurface archaeological features.

  • Thanks so much to all the learners who've shared their thoughts, knowledge and interest with other learners. It's been great to hear your insights and perspectives!

  • It's a common misconception

  • You will enjoy it!

  • @RohanGawali thank you for sharing

  • @JillSluman thanks for posting

  • Thanks for sharing

  • @MandyMeikle thanks for letting is know. We will look into it.

  • Good question. I'm assuming so.

  • The emphasis was not on assigning blame or prosecution but on identification as an important step towards political reconciliation as well as closure for families.

  • Yes, many will pass away without ever knowing what happened to their loved ones.

  • Thank you all for your thoughtful comments on this highly emotive and difficult subject.

  • @HannahRison I look forward to talking to you soon.

  • @Sofie-KristinSchendzielorz feel free to email me directly and I'd be happy to chat to you about it further. I think it would mostly depend on whether you key interests are in learning about the past or the present. Many of the core techniques and training are similar but the degrees vary in their context-specific skills.

  • @JanAnderson it's always worth looking at the author's webpages- as they often have the pre-publication draft available for free.

  • @AnnRhodes great work!

  • @DerekDeegan great to hear!

  • Not as far as I know, but I'm not sure about the laws in different countries.

  • @HannahRison good question. Yes, it's possible that if those with Covid19 suffered chronic lung inflammation then we would see this reactive change to the ribs and healed/remodelled lesions in those who have survived.

  • @ElizabethBetts yes, easily treated now, but if left untreated this is what can happen in the tertiary stages.

  • It will vary depending on the individual.

  • Fabulous job everyone! I'm really impressed by the way you've considered the differen features of ante-, peri- and post-mortem trauma.

    As most people have described, this is an example of blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in the visible concentric fracture lines. The ‘hole’ in the skull is a result of medical intervention, or trepanning to relieve...

  • @MandyMeikle it's tricky as there are many decapitation burials from Roman Britain and there often doesn't seem to be any discernible logic/patter in terms of head placement. Women and children are also buried in this manner. It's fascinating though

  • Yes, there are issues of consent that would need to be addressed.

  • @DavidR yes there can be issues regarding Sulphur, for example. Mostly, it's different isotopes being observed for diet/geography. However, Oxygen can also be affected by the brewing and boiling processes so this can cause confusion.