Professor Charlotte Roberts FBA

Archaeological human remains; palaeopathology; ethical considerations and and human remains; the relevance of past health to contemporary health; evolutionary approaches to the origin and history of infectious diseases; big data projects in palaeopathology; public engagement

Elected 2014

Fellow type
UK Fellow
Year elected

A bioarchaeologist, Professor Roberts has a background in archaeology, environmental archaeology and human bioarchaeology. She has studied and interpreted human remains from archaeological sites for the past 30 years, and is specifically interested in exploring the interaction of people with their environments in the past through patterns of health and disease (palaeopathology), and especially those health problems that are common today. A State Registered Nurse initially (1975-8), she completed a BA in Archaeological Studies (Leicester – 1979-1982), a MA Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (Sheffield - 1983), and a PhD (bioarchaeology / palaeopathology / medical history – Bradford 1988). Her nursing background, particularly, has guided her into taking an holistic approach to past ill health in bioarchaeology, something that was also considered essential in a hospital environment. Understanding why and how people and communities today experience health problems is essential to be able to understand ill health in the past. She does a wide range of public engagement work.

Current post

Professor of Archaeology, Durham University

Past appointments

University of Durham Reader in Archaeology

2000 - 2004

University of Bradford Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology

1994 - 1999

University of Bradford Lecturer in Palaeopathology

1989 - 1994

University of Bradford Research Assistant in Palaeopathology

1983 - 1989

University of Bradford Part-time PhD student in Biological Anthropology

1983 - 1989

The Burns Unit, St. Lawrence Hospital, Chepstow, Gwent Staff Nurse

1979 - 1979

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