Dr Katie A. Hemer

BA Hons (Cantab), MSc, PhD

Department of Archaeology

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Dr Katie Hemer
Profile picture of Dr Katie Hemer

Full contact details

Dr Katie A. Hemer
Department of Archaeology
Minalloy House
10-16 Regent Street
S1 3NJ

I read Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College) where I focused on Indian archaeology for my final year.

I subsequently studied for an MSc in Palaeopathology at Durham University, followed by a second MSc in Biomolecular Archaeology at the University of Sheffield.

I remained at Sheffield for my doctorate, which I was awarded in 2011. During the 2011-12 academic year, I was appointed as a University Teacher to cover Professor Mike Parker Pearson’s study leave.

Between 2012-2015, I held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (“East meets West: Mobility and cultural contact between the Mediterranean and western Britain in the early medieval period, c.400 – 800 A.D”), and in 2013, I was also awarded a University of Sheffield Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship.

After returning from maternity leave in 2017, I transitioned from my VC Fellowship to become a Lecturer.

  • BA Hons (Cantab) Archaeology and Anthropology (First Class)
  • MSc Palaeopathology
  • MSc Biomolecular Archaeology
  • PhD (Sheffield)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Research interests
  • Early medieval period
  • Bioarchaeology, including stable isotope analysis (diet and population mobility)
  • Western Britain
  • Early medieval trade and migration
  • The Archaeology of Children and Childhood
  • Human osteology and Palaeopathology
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Disability and physical impairment in past populations

Current Research Projects

Scremby Anglo-Saxon Cemetery

I am currently working with Dr Hugh Willmot from the Department and Dr Adam Daubney (Portable Antiquities Scheme) on the current excavations of the late 5th- and early 6th-century cemetery at Scremby, Lincolnshire.

Excavation of over 20 burials has shown the cemetery was the focus for a number of very high status burials.

Scientific analysis of the human remains, including stable isotope analysis, and material culture from the cemetery is on-going.

The St Patrick’s Chapel Excavation Project

I am the co-director of The St Patrick’s Chapel Excavation Project, which is a collaborative research project with Dyfed Archaeological Trust. St Patrick’s Chapel is an early medieval (5th-10th century AD) Christian cemetery situated in sand dunes overlooking Whitesands Beach, Pembrokeshire.


Edited books

  • Hadley DM & Hemer KA (Ed.) (2014) Medieval Childhood: Archaeological Approaches. Oxford: Oxbow Books. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hadley D & Hemer K (Ed.) (2014) Medieval Childhood: Archaeological Approaches. Oxford: Oxbow Books. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Shiner M, Hemer K & Commeau R (2019) The St Patrick's Chapel Excavation Project@ Public engagement with the Rescue excavation of an early medieval cemetery in south west Wales In Williams H, Wills-Eve B & Osborne J (Ed.), The Public Archaeology of Death Equinox Publishing (Indonesia) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hemer KA & Evans JA (2018) The Contribution of Stable Isotope Analysis to the Study of Childhood Movement and Migration Oxford University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Craig-Atkins E (2014) Eavesdropping on short lives: Eaves-drip burial and the differential treatment of children one year of age and under in early Christian cemeteries In Hadley DM & Hemer KA (Ed.), Medieval Childhood: Archaeological Approaches Oxbow Books View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hadley DM & hemer K (2014) Introduction: archaeological approaches to medieval childhood, c.500-1500 In Hadley D & Hemer K (Ed.), Medieval Childhood: Archaeological Approaches (pp. 1-25). Oxford: Oxbow. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Hemer K, Edwards N & Davies T (2017) Research Framework For The Archaeology of Early Medieval Wales C. Ad 400–1070 RIS download Bibtex download
Professional activities and memberships
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • President of the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past
  • Member of the Historic Environment Trailblazer Group.
  • Member of the Editorial Board for the journal, Childhood in the Past
  • Member of the Editorial Board for the journal, Isle of Man Studies: Proceedings of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society
  • Member of the Irish Isotopes Research Group
Public Engagement
Invited talks
  • November 2015- ‘On the utmost border of the earth’: life and death in early medieval Wales. UCL Institute of Archaeology / British Museum Medieval Seminar Series, London.  
  • July 2015- Caethion Cymru: investigating slavery in early medieval Wales. Leeds International Medieval Congress 2015.
  • February 2015- A world in motion: investigating population mobility in early medieval western Britain. Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt.
  • February 2015- ‘A’e tat en argluyd arnau’: perspectives on children and childhood in early medieval Wales. University of Sheffield, MARS lecture series.
  • December 2014- ‘On the utmost border of the earth’: Long-distance trade and contact with early medieval western Britain. Linking the Mediterranean: Regional and Trans-Regional Interactions in Times of Fragmentation (300 - 800 CE). Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Abteilung Byzanzforschung, Vienna, 11th-13th December.
  • October 2014- ‘On the utmost border of the earth': evidence for contact and migration in early medieval Wales. Irish Isotopes Research Group, University College Dublin, Dublin.
  • October 2013- Ymchwilio y gorffennol trwy archaeoleg biomoleciwlaidd. Welsh public lecture to Derby Welsh Speakers Society.
  • August 2013- Ymchwilio y gorffennol trwy moleciwlau. Welsh public lecture at the National Eisteddfod, Denbighshire.
  • August/September 2015- The St Patrick’s Chapel Excavation Project Exhibition’ hosted by St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.
Television and Media
  • December 2016- Contributor – ‘Digging for Britain’, BBC Four
  • Presenter for the Welsh-language channel, S4C:
    • May – September 2015- Presenter, ‘Corff Cymru, Series 3’. Produced by Boom Pictures Cymru. 6-program series, aired May 2016.
    • May – September 2014- Presenter, ‘Corff Cymru, Series 2’. Produced by Boom Pictures Cymru. 6-program series, aired September 2014
    • February – July 2013- Presenter, ‘Corff Cymru'. Produced by Boom Pictures Cymru. 6-program series, aired April 2013.