Oliver Craig
Reader in Archaeological Science



Oliver obtained his first degree in Biochemistry and Genetics (Nottingham), an MSc in Osteology, Palaeopathology and Funerary Archaeology (Sheffield), followed by a PhD with the Ancient Biomolecules group at Newcastle. He has also completed a Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Rome II, 'Tor Vergata'.  He currently directs the BioArCh facility.

Departmental roles

Director of BioArCh



Oliver Craig specialises in biomolecular archaeology, i.e. the recovery of proteins, lipids and DNA from ancient skeletal remains and archaeological artefacts to provide insights into past human activities.

His particular interests lie in temporal transitions and variability in human diets, cuisine and subsistence practices and the impact that dietary changes had on social evolution, health and the environment.

Oliver is interested in combining a broad range of analytical techniques to study palaeodiet but particularly stable isotope analysis of human bone and organic residue analysis of food remains on ceramics.

His research has focused on the analysis of materials from key prehistoric sites in Central and Eastern Europe and along the North East Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean coastlines.

Oliver is also interested in Roman diet and particularly the issue of marine consumption. 

Oliver has an interest in the earliest use of pottery from North America, Eastern Baltic, Siberia, Russian Far East and Japan. 

Current projects

Previous projects


Curret PhD Students

  • Harry Robson – primary supervisor, current
  • Sophy Charlton – joint supervisor, current
  • Rachel Smith – joint supervisor, current
  • Helen Williams – primary supervisor, current
  • Tom Farrell (University of Groningen/York) – co-supervisor, current.
  • Rachelle Martyn - primary supervisor, current

Past PhD Students

  • Hayley Saul  - doctoral student (AHRC)
  • Cynthianne Spiteri - doctoral student (NERC)
  • Nienke van Doorn - doctoral student (EU)



MSc in Bioarchaeology

External activities


  • Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Archaeological Science, University of Bradford
  • Academic Assoicate (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia)
  • Honorary fellow (Aix-Marseille Université)

Contact details

Dr Oliver Craig
Biology, S Block
Wentworth Way
YO10 5DD

Tel: (44) 1904 328626 Biology; (44) 1904 323905 Archaeology
Fax: (44) 1904 433902