Dr Kirsty Squires

Job Title and Responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Anthropology; Postgraduate Course Leader

About Me

I am a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Anthropology and I primarily teach in the areas of forensic anthropology and statistics. Since finishing my doctoral research at the University of Sheffield in 2012, I have worked in commercial archaeology as both a field worker and an osteoarchaeologist. During this period, I also worked on a number of field schools that involved teaching students how to excavate and record archaeological skeletal remains. Alongside my work in the field, I acted as a temporary Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham from 2013-2014. My research focuses on the analysis of cremated human bone and what it can tell us about burning conditions from both archaeological and modern contexts. I am particularly interested in applying scientific methods that are more commonly used in other disciplines to answer archaeological questions, especially those pertaining to identity in the past and funerary rites.


  • MA Education (distinction) – Staffordshire University 2017

  • PhD Archaeology (‘An osteological analysis and social investigation of the cremation rite at the cemeteries of Elsham and Cleatham, North Lincolnshire’) – University of Sheffield 2012 (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council)

  • MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology (distinction) – University of Sheffield 2008 (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council)

  • BSc (Hons) Archaeology (1st class) – University of Nottingham 2007

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • Affiliate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists

  • Member of the Society for American Archaeology

  • Member of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology

  • Member of the Society for Medieval Archaeology

  • Student and Outreach Officer of the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past

Research Interests

  • All aspects of forensic anthropology and osteoarchaeology, particularly the analysis and interpretation of burned bone

  • Bioethics The use of body modifications in the identification process

  • The integration of scientific methods and cultural analyses

  • Funerary archaeology

  • Early medieval archaeology

  • Childhood and gender studies

  • Issues relating to gender disparity in Higher Education

Selected Publications


Squires, K. E., Errickson, D., and Márquez-Grant, N. (eds.) (in prep.) The Ethical Challenges of Working with Human Remains. Book proposal accepted by Springer.

Book Chapters

Squires, K. E. (forthcoming) Without a Trace? Treatment of Children in Life and Death in the Anglo-Saxon Period (5th – 11th century). In: N. J. Miller and D. Purkiss (eds.) Literary Cultures and Medieval/ Early Modern Childhoods. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Squires, K. E. (2017)Come rain or shine? The social implications of seasonality and weather on the cremation rite in early Anglo-Saxon England. In J. Cerezo-Román, A. Wessman and H. Williams (eds.) Cremation in European Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thompson, T. J. U., Gonçalves, D., Squires, K. E. and Ulguim, P. (2017). Thermal alteration to the body. In: E. Schotsmans, N. Marquez-Grant and S. Forbes (eds.) Taphonomy of human remains: forensic analysis of the dead and the depositional environment. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Squires, K. E. 2016. Neighbours and networks: funerary trends among cremation practicing groups in early medieval England and north-western Europe. In: L. Keys, I. Riddler and J. Soulet (eds.) Studies for Professor Vera Evison. Montagnac: Monique Mergoil.

Squires, K. E. 2015. The use of microscopic techniques in cremation studies: A new approach to understanding the social identity of cremation practicing groups from early Anglo-Saxon England. In T. J. U. Thompson (ed.) The archaeology of cremation: burned human remains in funerary studies. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Squires, K. E. 2014. Through the flames of the pyre: the continuing search for Anglo-Saxon infants, 114-130. In: D. M. Hadley and K. A. Hemer (eds.) Medieval Childhood: archaeological approaches. SSCIP Monograph 3. Oxford: Oxbow.


Catling, G., Squires, K. and Gwinnett, C. 2016. Is Pork a Suitable Substitute for Human Flesh in Cadaver Dog Training? CSEye. August 2016: 24-26.

Squires, K. E. 2013. Piecing together identity: a social investigation of early Anglo-Saxon cremation practices. Archaeological Journal 170, 154-200.

Squires, K. E. 2012. Populating the pots: The demography of the early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries at Elsham and Cleatham, North Lincolnshire. Archaeological Journal 169, 312-342.

Squires, K. E., Thompson, T. J. U., Islam, M. and Chamberlain, A. 2011. The application of histomorphometry and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to the analysis of early Anglo-Saxon burned bone. Journal of Archaeological Science 38 (9), 2399-2409.


Squires, K. E. 2015. An Osteological Analysis and Social Investigation of the Cremation Rite at the Cemeteries of Elsham and Cleatham, North Lincolnshire: PhD Thesis, University of Sheffield (2011) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor].

Book reviews

Squires, K. E. 2018. Review: Children, Death and Burial: Archaeological Discourses. Childhood in the Past: An International Journal 11 (1) 57-58.

Squires, K. E. 2015. Review: Tyttels’s Halh: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Tittleshall, Norfolk. The Archaeology of the Bacton to King’s Lynn Gas Pipline, Volume 2. Archaeological Journal 172.

Squires, K. E. (forthcoming). Review: The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham: volume IX. Archaeological Journal 172.

Squires, K. E. 2010. Wasperton Book Review. Assemblage [online]. Available at:

Conference Talks

‘Hawthorn: A Tale of Two Craters, Battle of the Somme. A multi-disciplinary investigation.’ (Authors: Kirsty Squires, Dane Wright, Terry Berry, Neil Lamont, Julian Partridge, Fiona Graham, Paul Ottey, and John Cassella. Public Lecture, Staffordshire University, May 2018.

‘Children of the revolution: An exploration of children working in the pottery industry in 19th century Stoke-on-Trent, UK’, Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past 10th International Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, November 2017.

 ‘Understanding the presence of Children in Late Medieval Hospitals, A.D. 1050 – 1600.’ (poster) (Authors: Esme Hookway, Kirsty Squires and John Cassella, BABAO Annual Conference, Liverpool John Moore University, Liverpool, September 2017.

‘Time to take a rain check? The social and practical implications of weather and seasonality on the cremation rite in early Anglo-Saxon England’, Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, March 2017.

‘The study of cremation in the past: what is it good for?’ (Invited Guest Lecture via web conferencing), University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada, February 2017.

‘Preparing for battle? An examination of juvenile weapon burials from early Anglo-Saxon England’, World Archaeology Congress 8th Annual Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, August 2016 (and session co-organiser of the “Archaeologies of Childhood II: Children’s roles in peace and war session).

‘Changing with the times: An exploration of shifting attitudes and funerary treatment of children from the Roman to early medieval period in Britain’ (Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando (Florida), April 2016.

‘A time honoured tradition? The effect of social and political change on funerary rites in early Anglo-Saxon England’, Society for Medieval Archaeology Annual Conference, University of Central Lancashire, December 2015.

‘The bare bones: The application of scientific methods to environmental evidence – a case study’ (Invited Guest Lecture), Northern Kentucky University (Kentucky), September 2015.

‘Putting family first: commemorating children in early Anglo-Saxon England’ (The Study for the Society of Childhood in the Past 8th International Conference, DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois), September 2015.

‘He who has the biggest pyre? Male identity in early Anglo-Saxon England, Manhood in Anglo-Saxon England Conference, University of Manchester, April 2015.

‘A fiery subject: Can cremated bone provide an insight into the social identity of cremation practicing groups of Anglo-Saxon England?’, Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Conference, University of Liverpool, December 2012.

‘A bio-cultural approach to identity in the early Anglo-Saxon inhumation and cremation rite’, Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS), University College London, May 2012.

‘An analysis of the construction of gender and the life cycle in the cremation cemeteries at Elsham and Cleatham, Lincolnshire’, Postgraduate Research Workshop, University of Sheffield, January 2011.

‘The effect of cremation on human bone from an early Anglo-Saxon context’, Ancient Cremations Workshop, Cardiff University, October 2009. 

‘The effect of cremation on human bone from an early Anglo-Saxon context’ (poster), British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO) annual conference, University of Bradford, September 2009.

‘The potential of cremation cemeteries in early Anglo-Saxon archaeology with special reference to the Elsham and Cleatham cemeteries’, Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS), University of Sheffield, May 2009.

‘An analysis of the construction of gender and the lifecycle in the cremation cemetery at Elsham, Lincolnshire’, Postgraduate Research Workshop, University of Sheffield, January 2009.

‘A bio-cultural analysis of the osteological remains and funerary practices from the Elsham cremation cemetery’, Biocultural Approaches to Early Medieval Burial Workshop, University of Sheffield, December 2008.

Current Teaching


  • Facial Recognition (module leader)

  • Bodies of Evidence

  • Techniques in the Identification of Human Remains (module leader)

  • Science for Justice

  • Methods of Crime Detection

  • Crime Scene Documentation

  • Recording the Crime Scene

  • Introduction to Forensic Science

  • Research and Professional Skills

  • Research and Professional Skills for Policing Students

  •  Independent Research Project

Postgraduate (Taught)

  • Specialist Topics (Wildlife Crime)

  • Issues, Methods and Ethics in Research

  • Independent Research Project

Current PhD students

  • Esme Hookway: Understanding the Presence of Children in Medieval Hospitals through the Archaeological and Historical Records.

  • Keith Silika: Forensic Archaeological Interdisciplinary Approaches to Clandestine Burials in Zimbabwe



Dr Kirsty Squires
School of Law, Policing, and Forensics
Staffordshire University
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 295904
e: kirsty.squires@staffs.ac.uk