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Dr Julia Best

Dr Julia Best

Lecturer in Bioarchaeology

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+44 (0)29 2087 4247
Room 5.49a, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU


I am a specialist in bioarchaeology, particularly zooarchaeology. My work has spanned a wide range of periods and locations, with a focus on Neolithic and Medieval archaeology. My primary research interest is using cutting-edge analytical techniques to reconstruct past societies, lifeways, and economies through multi-disciplinary approaches.

Specific themes I’m interested in include:

  • Medieval economy and craft
  • Avian zooarchaeology
  • Scottish island environment and resource use
  • Consuming prehistory: feeding Stonehenge
  • Outreach and engagement


Career Overview

2016 - present: Cardiff University, Lecturer in Bioarchaeology and Lecturer in Archaeology

2017 - present: Bournemouth University, Zooarchaeological researcher

2014 - 2017: Bournemouth University, Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the AHRC "Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions’” Project

Education and Qualifications

Cardiff University

Sept 2009 – Sept 2013. Viva Dec 2013.  Graduated 2014.

PhD (AHRC Funded). Living in Liminality: an Osteoarchaeological Investigation into the Use of Avian Resources in North Atlantic Island Environments

Cardiff University


MA Archaeology (AHRC Funded), Distinction.

Cardiff University


BA Archaeology,  First Class Honours

Honours and awards

Aug 2017      "Causing a Flap: using chicken-based research to transform education, poultry production and human well-being" AHRC Follow on Funding Research Grant

Jan 2017       Bournemouth University Bridging Fund Scheme for Research Staff (£8,124)

Jan 2016       Lead coordinator NERC ‘Early Chicken Dispersal in Europe: Tracing the Spread of Avian Livestock: Radiocarbon dating project’ (NF/2015/2/5). 14 dates (c. £5040)

Dec 2014      Bournemouth University Fusion Fund for Undergraduate Research Assistant (£748)








HS2382 Medieval Archaeology (module leader)

HS2124 Deep Histories: The Archaeology of Britain

HS2423 Forensic and Osteoarchaeology

HST048 Zooarchaeology

HST049 Biomolecular Archaeology

I also contribute to/have contributed to:

HS2125 Analysing Archaeology

HS2126 Discovering Archaeology

HS2350 The History of Archaeological Thought

HST500 Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation

I am a supervisor for Independent Studies, UG Dissertations and PGT dissertations.