Dr Katie A. Hemer

BA Hons (Cantab), MSc, PhD

Department of Archaeology

Senior Lecturer in Bioarchaeology

Co-Course Director- MSc Archaeological Science

Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Marketing (Semester 2)

Dr Katie Hemer
+44 114 222 2925

Full contact details

Dr Katie A. Hemer
Department of Archaeology
Minalloy House
Regent Street
S10 2TN

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
Research group

I am happy to discuss PhD supervision with prospective students interested in:

  • The Early Medieval Period
  • The Archaeology of Children/Childhood
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Bioarchaeology (including Human osteology/Palaeopathology/Biomolecular Archaeology)
Current Research Students
  • Aimee Barlow- "Coming of age: a biocultural investigation of reproductive practices in Industrial Britain"
  • Marion Shiner (Sept 2017 – present)- “Transient relations: non-adult funerary practices in 1st–10th century AD Wales and Ireland and the origin of separate infant burial grounds”. Funded by WRoCAH.
  • Valasia Strati (June 2017 – present): “The effects of Industrialization on the state of health and disease of a Victorian Urban Population: A case study from St. Hilda’s Church, South Shield (Newcastle)”. Project on-going. Self-funded.
  • Marit van Cant (Sept 2018 – present): “Dyed-In-The-Wool: The Impact of Occupational Behaviour and the Environment on Small Urban and Rural Communities in Flanders, c. 1200-1860 AD”.
Teaching activities


  • Archaeology of Britain: From Prehistory to the Industrial Revolution (co-ordinator)
  • The Celtic West: From the Fall of Rome to the Viking Age (co-ordinator)
  • Science in Archaeology


  • Applied Archaeological Science
  • Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation
Professional activities
  • 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.