BABAO Conference 2013

The 15th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology

13th to 15th of September 2013

We are looking forward to holding the 15th annual BABAO conference in York.  During this conference we will hold sessions on a variety of aspects of human remains, reflecting the different specialisms we have here at York in the Department of Archaeology, BioArCh and Hull York Medical School.

This year's conference will be held at the Ron Cook Hub, Heslington East Campus, University of York.

Convenient accommodation is available for the conference at a discounted rate via our online shop 

The provisional advance conference programme is now available to download: BABAO_2013_York_Provisional Programme (PDF  , 333kb)

Guidelines for podium and poster presenters: BABAO 2013 presenter guidelines (PDF  , 50kb)


Registration for the BABAO 2013 Conference will open on the 1st March 2013. Ticket prices are as follows:

  • BABAO Members £140
  • Non-members £160
  • BABAO Student Members £105
  • Student Non-members £125
  • Late Booking £180 (After 1 August 2013)

Tickets are available to purchase from our online shop

Ticket prices include refreshements across the whole conference,  a wine reception on the Friday evening (13th September), lunch on Saturday 14th, and a special dinner at the National Railway Museum on the Saturday evening also.


To make an enquiry about this conference please contact the organising committee on


As of 2013, the BABAO Conference Organisers are pleased to announce that we will be able to provide five conference bursaries for attending delegates. These bursaries will cover the cost of registration fees, and all delegates submitting podium presentation abstracts are eligible to apply. If delegates wish to apply for one of these bursaries, please attach an additional page (of 250 words maximum) outlining your eligibility for the award when submitting your session abstract. Preference will be given to delegates who demonstrate not only novel and interesting research but also difficult financial circumstances.

The deadline for busary applications has now closed.

Abstract Submission

We invite submissions of abstracts for all sessions (of 250 words max.) from 1st March 2013.

Submissions for all sessions may be either in the form of podium or poster presentations - please specify your preference when submitting your abstract. Please also specify which session you wish your presentation be within when submitting your abstract.

All abstracts should be submitted to

The deadline for abstract submissions is now closed. Thanks to all who submitted abstracts for consideration.

Conference Programme

The provisional advance conference programme is available to download: BABAO_2013_York_Provisional Programme (PDF  , 333kb)

Session Themes

We are hoping that a range of interdisciplinary sessions organised for BABAO 2013 will encourage discussion and promote contact between researchers working in a variety of different areas and subjects.

Sessions will focus on the following themes:

Constructing Identities: Ethnicity and Migration

Keynote speaker: Jim Walvin, Department of History, University of York

The exploration of ethnicity and migration among human populations has long been a focus in the disciplines of biological anthropology and archaeology. Detecting population movement in modern and ancient populations is becoming increasingly easier due in part to the recent advances in biomolecular analyses, geomorphometrics and DNA analysis that are complementing osteological inquiry. We encourage papers on this topic from a wide variety of osteological, anthropological, genetic, historical, archaeological or other backgrounds.

Treatment of the Body: Understanding and Portrayals

Keynote speaker: Jelena Bekvalac, Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, Museum of London

Following on from last year’s session on “Life after Death”, this session will explore different approaches to mortuary treatment, and how we can communicate and portray alternative funerary practices to audiences beyond the disciplines of biological anthropology and osteoarchaeology. As professionals and researchers working in this field it becomes easy to accept the variety of treatments that bodies have been subjected to from prehistory to the present day. However, the presiding public attitude towards death and burial in modern western society tends to focus on keeping the body complete and intact in order to enable “respectful” mortuary treatment. This session therefore invites presentations which explore the variety of treatments that the body can be subject to after death both in the past and the present, alongside papers which address how we can communicate this diversity of post-mortem treatment to a public audience.

Investigating Lifeways: Diets, Disease and Occupations

Keynote speaker: Ian Barnes, School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway

This session will focus on what can be learned about how people lived in the past from their skeletal remains. Through a range of historical, osteological and biomolecular methods and techniques it is now possible to investigate many aspects of everyday life - such as diet, occupation and living conditions, as well as various medical conditions people may have suffered from - and how these different factors may have evolved over time.  Papers for this session should focus on, but are not necessarily restricted to, topics such as those mentioned here, which highlight how we can reconstruct life from the dead, and investigate large scale processes on both a population and individual level.

Open Session

Keynote speaker: Paul O’Higgins, Hull-York Medical School

This session welcomes papers on any subject related to biological anthropology, osteoarchaeology, palaeopathology or bioarchaeology that do not fall within the above themes. 

Conference Programme

The provisional advance conference programme is available to download: BABAO_2013_York_Provisional Programme (PDF  , 333kb)


The conference will be held at the Ron Cook Hub on the University of York's Heslington East Campus, which is located on the edge of York city centre. There is a wide range of accommodation available in York both on the University campus and in the city centre.

Accommodation will be available on campus during the conference within Alcuin College, and can be booked through our online shop

Check-in is available from 2pm, but delegates will be able to leave their luggage at the conference venue and check in after sessions have finished if they so wish.

Alternative accommodation in the town centre is available at a range of hotels covering all budgets. Details of hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs within a short distance of the University’s Heslington East Campus can be found through York Tourist Office:


Directions to the University’s Heslington East Campus, and to the Ron Cook Hub, where the conference will be held, can be found below, and also on the University’s webpages:

By Road

We recommend drivers approach the University from the junction of the A64 and A1079 on the east of the city, from where the University is signposted. For satnav users, the postcode for the Heslington East Campus is YO19 5LA.

By Rail

There are frequent, fast train services to York on the main East Coast Line from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh. There are also direct services between York, Leeds and Manchester Airport. The Ron Cook Hub is located just under three miles from York Railway Station. A taxi or bus from the Railway Station should take 15 - 20 minutes.

By Taxi

A taxi from York Railway Station to the University’s Heslington East Campus should take roughly 15 minutes and will cost around £7.

By Bus

If travelling from the Railway Station or city centre, the most frequent service to the Heslington East Campus is the number 44 (Transdev Unibus), which stops directly outside the Ron Cook Hub. A single ticket will cost £1.50 or, if you choose to stay in the city centre, a day return is £2.00.

For a full list of services that call at the University, please see the York Journey Planner []

You can also reach York by coach from many destinations around the country. National Express coaches stop at the railway station.

By Air

The closest airport to York is Leeds Bradford International Airport. Trains are available from Leeds Bradford Airport to York Railway Station.

Further transport information is available from the University’s central pages:


To make an enquiry about this conference please contact the organising committee on

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