Anita Radini
PDRA on 'Melting Pot' Project



I am the post-docotral  research assistant on the AHRC-funded project:  Melting Pot: Food and Identity in the Age of Vikings (Ashby, Craig 2016-18).  Prior to this post, I undertook my PhD at York; my thesis title is: Particles of Everyday Life. Diet and Living Condition as shown by Human Dental Calculus: a Case Study from Medieval Leicester. Prevoius to that I was the Archaebotanist at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services for 10 years.





I graduated at the Universita' degli Studi di Milano (Milan, Italy) in 2003, in Natural Sciences, specialising in Palaeobiology; my degree was awared as Laurea Magna cum Laude. My thesis involved the archaeobotanical anlaysis of selected dung layers and occupational deposits from caves and shelters in the Central Sahara, dating from 10000 bp to 3500 bp. The aim of the project was to understand changes in the paleoeconomy of hunter-gathers and later pastoral communities in relation to the environmental changes that affected the region during the Holocene. I also used plant macro-remains in conjunction with plant micro-remains from thin sections of soil, in order to better understand the taphonomic processes that generated the archaeobotanical assemblages.

I moved to the UK shortly after my Laurea, and gained a Masters Degree in “Archaeology of Food”, at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, in January 2005. My dissertation aimed to test the possibility and needs in the use FIBS (Functional Interpretation of Botanical Surveys ) to reconstruct crop husbandry practice in Romano-Libyan agriculture. The project was supervised by Prof. M. VanderVen who also kindly provided archaeobotanical samples for the project.

In 2005 I joined ULAS as site assistant at the excavation of St Peter’s cemetery  and a Roman site in Vine St. I became Angela Monckton’s  assistant in the Unit' environmental lab in Autumn 2006, and was involved in the post-excavation analysis and reporting on plant macroremains from several excavations. Between 2010 and 2015,  I was ULAS's archaeobotanist.


Departmental roles

 I am the Department's laboratory technician (with specialism in archaeobotany), currently on secondment to Melting Pot and currenlty the contact between the Department and the Centre of Life Long Learning. I also teach in a number of modules on the subject of Archaeological Science and Environemntal Archaeology.



I am an archaeoligcal scientist, with specialism in the study of plant microfossils,  but have recently developed new techniques for the study of dental calculus, and in Melting Pot I will be building skills in ceramic residue analysis. I have written numerous reports, and published several research papers on these subjects.

My PhD, supervised by Dr Michelle Alexander, was on diet and living conditions as shown by human dental calculus, focusing on medieval leicester as a case study. The study targeted diet and urban environment and their changes from the early to post-medieval periods in Leicester and the Leicestershire countryside, using micro-debris entrapped in Human Dental Calculus. I tested the potential of such "deposits" to provide new insights into living conditions, food production, consumption and trade in the town and its surroundings and how they have changed through the medieval period.


More information about Melting Pot can be found here.



At postgraduate level, I will be directing the MA in Mesolithic Studies.

External activities


Contact details

Mrs Anita Radini
Department of Archaeology
University of York
King's Manor

Tel: (44) 1904 323940