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Haley Goren

Archaeology, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Funerary Practices of the British Beaker Peoples: An Osteo-Archaeological Assessment of Individuals

My research investigates mortuary traditions of the south England Beaker population using an interdisciplinary approach of both qualitative and quantitative assessments. A south England skeletal assemblage of approxomately 60 Beaker graves were subject to intensive osteological, contextual and micro-taphonomic assessment using: (i) contextual and depositional data in publications and site records; (ii) biometric data (age, sex, trauma/pathology) derived from publications and examinations of skeletal material; (iii) quantification of diagenetic data based on MCT scans of bone samples, using the Oxford Histological Index (Hedges et al.1995).

The aims of the study are to: 1.) assess the southern England population for evidence of excarnation/mummification; 2.) assess the different types of burials appli­­ed, including multi-burial, primary, and secondary burial; 3.) assess the human handling of the corpse postmortem (burial position, dismemberment, secondary disarticulation); 4.) assess the funerary offerings included in the grave; and 5.) asses grave architecture. 

These aims are designed to address three primary research questions. First, what are the funerary customs of the south England Beaker population? Specifically for differences of diagenesis between age groups, differences of diagenesis between biological sex groups, differences of diagenesis between primary/primary undisturbed and secondary/secondary disturbed burials, differences between individuals with visible pathology or trauma and intact skeletons, and differences between individuals with grave goods and those without. Secondly, how much of the population was subjected to postmortem manipulation? Third, to identify indications of mummification/excarnation in the southern England population.

Analyses of these parameters will address: 1) social treatments based on age or sex; 2) the prevalence and types of post-mortem treatments in an unstudied population; 3) the demonstration of the applicability of MCT during the investigation of rare/fragile materials. Such an analysis collectively informs on  the different phases of the mortuary process, (i) pre-burial, (ii) the burial event, and (iii) what happens to the grave post-deposition; 4.) contribute to growing body of taphonomic research on human bone microstructure for applications as evidence in forensic and physical anthropology to determine the postmortem history of a corpse.

This study will significantly contribute to what is understood about the funerary and mortuary archaeology of the British Beaker people and to the growing body of taphonomic research on human bone microstructure for applications as evidence in forensic and physical anthropology to determine the postmortem history of a corpse.

Research Area

  • Archaeology


  • Goren, H. P. (2023). An investigation of the inter and intra post-mortem microstructural change seen in an experimental series of pigs exposed to a marine environment. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 99, 102588.
  • Goren, H. P., Agarwal, S. C., & Beauchesne, P. (2020). Interpreting Mortuary Treatment from Histological Bone Diagenesis: A Case Study from Neolithic Çatalhöyük. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.


Presentation at American Association of Physical Anthropology Conference (2020):

2020 Goren, H.P. & Bell, L.S. “An investigation of the inter and intra post mortem microstructural change seen in a experimental series of pigs exposed to a marine environment” (Abstract). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 171, Issue S69: [105].


AAPA2020 .24023.pdf

Poster Presentation at Western Bioarchaeology Group Conference (2016):

2016 Goren, H.P., Agarwal, S. C., & Beauchesne, P."Interpreting Mortuary Treatment from Histological Bone Diagenesis: A Case Study from Neolithic Çatalhöyük" (Abstract & Poster Presentation). 4th Western Bioarchaeology Group Conference, Sonoma, California.



WeBig Poster 2016103_GorenFinal .pdf

Public Engagement & Impact

Forensic and Bio-Anthropological Repatriation Casework:

  • Center for American Archaeology: Kampsville, IL - Human Osteology Laboratory
  • Texas State University, San Marcos- Forensic Archaeological Reseach Facility 
  • Adam Mickiewicz University Slavia Foundation & First Piasts Museum, Geicz Poland -Human Anatomy and Osteological Laboratory
  • Hollman and Associates Archaeological Consultants, Bioarchaeologist at Oak Knoll II, San Jose
  • New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner - Anthropology Unit, Skeletal Histology Laboratory
  • United Nations Committee on Missing Persons Anthropological Laboratory (CAL), Cyprus
  • San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Forensic Laboratory Division Histopathology Laboratory - Histotechnologist


  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • American Association of Forensic Science
  • The International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners
  • National Society for Histotechnology

Teaching Experience

Simon Fraser University | Centre for Forensic Research

Teaching Assistant

  • CRIM 402c: Biological Explanations of Crime (Distance Education)
  • CRIM 356: Forensic Anthropology
  • CRIM 355: Forensic Science
  • CRIM 355c: Forensic Science (Distance Education)
  • CRIM 103: Psychological Explanations of Crime
  • CRIM 301: Crime in Contemporary Society
  • CRIM 359: Forensic Entomology Lab (lab assistant)

Lectures in Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology delivered at:

  • Science AL!VE Summer Academy
  • The Science Odyssey Science Rendezvous

    Museum Conservation

    • University of California, Berkeley, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology - Osteology Collections Assistant
    • San Francisco State University, Adan E. Treganza Anthropology Museum - Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation (NAGPRA) Program Collections Assistant
    • Simon Fraser University, Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology - BC Coroner's Human Osteology Identification Assistant