• 07.11.2019
  • Offre d'emploi

Wessex Archaeology - Osteoarchaeologist

Wessex Archaeology is one of the largest independent archaeological practices in the UK and is a registered charity whose aims are to promote the advancement of education, heritage, science, culture and the arts. We recognise that our employees are paramount to our success and aim to foster a working environment that protects the physical and mental well-being of our people. We have offices in Salisbury, Sheffield, Maidstone, Bristol and Edinburgh.

The position
We are seeking an experienced osteoarchaeologist to join our established Specialist Services team within our industry-leading Research department. The position will be based in Salisbury. The successful applicant will be familiar with and have extensive practical experience of the osteological methods, theories and specialist techniques needed to identify and analyse human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts, working within a commercial archaeological environment across our regional offices. While the successful candidate will be required to work collegiately as part of an existing osteoarchaeology team, the ability to work independently will also be essential. The enthusiasm to assist in the development of junior team members, to share knowledge and to provide advice to members of the fieldwork teams as appropriate will also be needed.

This position will be primarily office-based, though some fieldwork on cemeteries, burial remains and other sites with mortuary-related deposits will be required. A relocation package may also be available.

The role includes:

  • Advising on the recovery of human remains on site and where appropriate undertaking the excavation of mortuary deposits;
  • giving project-specific advice and direction to managers, including on pertinent legislation;
  • advising on and where necessary overseeing post-excavation processing of human remains;
  • assessing appropriate levels of analysis for osteological assemblages, estimating costings for such analysis, and undertaking the recording and analysis within advised professional standards effectively and efficiently within budget;
  • reporting on the recovered data for various levels of publication (e.g. client reports, journal publications and monographs), with the production of well-structured reports to a high standard and to a level of detail commensurate with the project requirements; and
  • assisting in Company initiatives with respect to training, outreach and education, both in-house (in particular supervision/advice to junior osteoarchaeologists), and to clients, consultants, other external organisations and the general public.

Position requirements
You will have expertise in the analysis of human remains from a wide temporal range across Britain, although experience of prehistoric assemblages from southern England would be particularly advantageous. You will have proven experience of working within commercial archaeology, in the assessment and analysis of osteological assemblages.

You will have demonstrable reporting skills to publication standard. With a good understanding of British archaeology, you will be aware of current standards and guidance (such as those of Historic England and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists) concerning fieldwork and the collection, recording, publication and retention of human skeletal material.


  • A proven record of accomplishment of working within the commercial sector, including the production of osteological reports at all levels.
  • A demonstrable publication record covering osteological remains from commercial archaeological sites, preferably including local and national journals and contributions to archaeological monographs.
  • Extensive specialist experience and a good degree in archaeology or a related subject.
  • Archaeological fieldwork experience, particularly with – although not necessarily exclusive to – the appropriate recovery of human remains in their various forms.
  • A full clean Driving Licence.


  • Experience of the assessment, analysis and publication of other human bone from other periods.
  • Experience of working with osteological materials in their various forms (unburnt and cremated) and from a variety of deposit types (e.g. articulated in situ remains, curated remains, disarticulated material).
  • Membership of period or other special-interest groups (such as the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology).
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (preferably at MCIfA level) or an equivalent professional body.
  • A valid CSCS card.

The behavioural attributes that we expect from you are to be:

  • Open to learning and receiving direction;
  • Approachable in providing support, guidance and advice to those under your direction;
  • Able to communicate appropriately and respectfully;
  • Responsible and accountable for your work, actions and decisions;
  • Confident and innovative, and show good judgement in problem solving and decision making; and
  • Able to effectively manage tasks and projects in accordance with agreed specifications.

Our commitment
The pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture in the UK is perhaps the most pressing challenge to the mental health of the population. At Wessex Archaeology, we are committed to promoting a healthy work-life balance, and many of our staff work flexibly, whether that be part-time, remote- or home-working, term time arrangements, compressed hours etc. Please talk to us about the flexibility you’ll need. We can’t promise to be able to give you exactly what you want, but we absolutely promise to listen and provide what we can.

Applicants are invited to submit a covering letter with a copy of their CV, published bibliography and a completed application form (available from the vacancies page on our web site http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/vacancies) and returned by e-mail to wa.applications@wessexarch.co.uk by close of business on Friday 22nd November 2019. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged.

Interviews are likely to be held w/c 9th December 2019.

For all queries please contact our Senior Specialist Services Manager, Dr Matt Leivers (m.leivers@wessexarch.co.uk; 01722 326867).



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