Dr Anna Davies-Barrett

Research Associate

School/Department: Archaeology and Ancient History, School of



I am a Research Associate in human palaeopathology on the UKRI-funded project ‘Tobacco Health and History’. I work as an osteoarchaeologist specialising in the analysis and curation of human remains, with a focus on the study of ancient diseases (palaeopathology). I have a particular interest in respiratory conditions, including the effect of air pollution, environment, living conditions, and cultural behaviours on respiratory health in different past societies. Prior to coming to Leicester, I worked as a lecturer in human osteology at Cardiff University and as a bioarchaeologist at the British Museum, where I investigated respiratory diseases in populations from ancient Sudan.


Research specialisms:


Bone taphonomy

Respiratory disease

Infectious disease

Osteological recording methods

Sudanese/Nubian archaeology


Current and recent projects:

Tobacco, Health and History (current) (UKRI AHRC funded)

Respiratory Disease in the Middle Nile Valley (AHRC funded)


(0) Davies-Barrett, A. M., Owens, L. S., & Eeckhout, P. A. (2021). Paleopathology of the Ychsma: Evidence of respiratory disease during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1476) at the Central Coastal site of Pachacamac, Peru. International Journal of Paleopathology, 34, 63-75. 

Davies-Barrett, A. M., Roberts, C. A., & Antoine, D. (2021). Time to be nosy: Evaluating the impact of environmental and sociocultural changes on maxillary sinusitis in the Middle Nile Valley (Neolithic to Medieval periods). International Journal of Palaeopathology, 34, 182-196.

Davies-Barrett, A. M., Antoine, D., & Roberts, C. A. (2020). Respiratory disease in the Middle Nile Valley: the impact of environment and aridification. In G. Robbins Schug (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Climate and Environmental Change (pp. 122-140). Abingdon: Routledge. 

Davies-Barrett, A. M., Antoine, D., & Roberts, C. A. (2019). Inflammatory periosteal reaction on ribs associated with lower respiratory tract disease: a method for recording prevalence from sites with differing preservation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 168(3), 530-542. 

Davies-Barrett, A. M., Whiting, R., & Antoine, D. (2018). New insights into disease prevalence in two Medieval cemeteries from the Fourth Cataract. In S. Tipper & G. Tully (Eds.), Current Research in Nubian Archaeology (pp. 129-154). Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press.

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