Dr Katherine French
Marie-Sklowdowska Curie Research Fellow
- 4.36, Adeilad John Percival , Rhodfa Colum, Caerdydd, CF10 3EU
- Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig
I am a bioarchaeologist of the medieval period. My research focus is the symbolic and religious importance of animals to communities. My current project is BONEZ – "Baltic paganism, Osteology, and New Evidence from Zooarchaeology." Our goal is to reconstruct animal deposits from early medieval cemeteries in the Eastern Baltic region to understand how pagan communities used animals in public ritual.
Before coming to Cardiff, I worked or conducted research in a range of field, laboratory, museum, forensic, and museum contexts. My work as a professional archaeologist has taken me from the West Coast of America to Eastern Poland and many sites in between. Here is a sampling of my experience:
2021-Present: Cardiff University, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in Archaeology
2010-2018: New York University, Adjunct Professor in Anthropology, New York City, New York, USA
2014-2018: Archaeology & Historic Resource Services, Managing Archaeologist & Fieldwork Director, New York City, NY, USA
2011-2012, 2015-2016: Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Visiting Researcher, New York City, NY, USA
2011: Denver Museum of Nature and Science, NAGPRA Intern, Denver, CO, USA
2009-2010: University of Nevada-Reno, Archaeology Project Researcher in Klamath Network Fire Program, Seconded to United States National Park Service, Crater Lake National Park (Oregon, USA) and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (California, USA)
PhD: Anthropology, New York University
MA: Anthropology, New York University
MPhil: European Archaeology, University of Oxford
BA: Medieval Studies, Georgetown University
Honours and Awards
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship (2020): Awarded €224,934 for 24-month BONEZ (“Baltic paganism, osteology and new examinations of zooarchaeological evidence”) project.
- Global Research Institute Dissertation Writers Fellowship, New York University – Berlin (2016): Received one of six fully funded (travel, housing, stipend) placements for a six-week final stage dissertation writers’ workshop at the New York University Global Campus in Berlin, Germany.
- Lane Cooper Fellow, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University (2014) Won $25,000 dissertation research award for project entitled "Multispecies Cremations in a Transitional World: evidence from early medieval England."
- MacCracken Fellow, New York University (2009-2014) Five years of full tuition, health insurance, and living stipend by the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
- Global Research Institute Fellowship, New York University – London (2013) Awarded one semester of funding for dissertation research while a researcher in residence at New York University – London’s Global Research Institute.
- Healy Scholar, St. Cross College, University of Oxford (2006) Awarded Georgetown University’s Healy Fellowship: single annual winner for two years of full tuition and travel/housing stipend to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Oxford.
Summer Fieldwork Grants
- Antonina S. Ranieri International Scholars Fund Grant, New York University (2011)
- Goodwin-Salwen Archaeological Fellowship, New York University (2010)
I contribute to teaching on bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, bone biology, histology and forensics.
The BONEZ Project: I am the lead researcher on the Horizon 2020 EU-funded BONEZ project. BONEZ stands for “Baltic Paganism, Osteology, and New Evidence from Zooarchaeology” and will run from September 2021-August 2023. We are using a full suite of biomolecular, microscopic, and macroscopic techniques to reconstruct animal deposits in cemetery contexts in the Eastern Baltic region (special focus on modern Poland, Lithuania, and Russian Kaliningrad Oblast). Learn more at www.theBONEZproject.co.uk.
POWinPolska Project: "The Path to the Otherworld: reassessing cult behavior at Paprotki Kolonia, northeast Poland" launches May 2022. The goal of the project is to excavate and reconstruct a horse sacrificial burial associated with the Bogaczewo Culture (Roman period). I manage a team spanning 10 laboratories at seven institutions in Poland and the United Kingdom. Our research is funded by a National Geographic Level I Explorer Grant. Learn more at www.POWinPolska.com.
Drifting Osteons Project: A drifting osteon is an odd, but not uncommon form of a histological structure in bone that forms during remodelling. Working with colleagues in the United States, we are studying the prevalence of drifting osteons in the long bones of humans relative to other mammals.
Commingled Burials, Commingled Datasets Project: With colleague Dr Flint Dibble, we are building an integrated, user-friendly database designed to seamlessly record and integrate human and animal skeletal data from commingled assemblages.