The Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC)

Towton 9 skull

Towton 9
Lateral view of cranium showing penetrating injury.

The Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC) is part of the Division of Archaeological, Geographical and Environmental Sciences, University of Bradford. The centre specialises in the analysis of human skeletal remains, both ancient and modern. All members of staff are active academic researchers and the centre also undertakes a wide range of contract work on behalf of various archaeological units, museums, and other organisations.

The BARC (formerly the Calvin Wells Laboratory) houses the largest collection of human skeletal remains in an archaeology department in the UK. This includes material dating from the Neolithic to the 19th century. While most of the collection derives from cemeteries excavated in the UK, a small amount of material comes from overseas excavations. Much of the material currently housed at the BARC is on temporary or long-term loan from museums and archaeological units throughout the UK.

We have excellent research, teaching and archival facilities in the Phoenix Southwest Building (an old woollen mill), including dedicated environmentally controlled storage, three osteology labs, histology and microscopy labs, dedicated isotope labs, and a newly refurbished radiography suite, which combines traditional and digital radiography equipment.

From Cemetery to Clinic

A project supported by Jisc to digitise aspects of the Chichester Leprosarium cemetery and clinical images of leprosy (Hansen's disease). The 'From Cemetery to Clinic' website brings together the archaeological archive, skeletal data, 3D laser scans of leprous bones, pathological and clinical descriptions alongside a unique collection of clinical radiographs of individuals with leprosy. The project was a collaboration between Archaeological Sciences and the Centre for Visual Computing, University of Bradford.



Digitised Diseases

'Digitised Diseases: informing clinical understanding of chronic conditions affecting the skeleton using archaeological and historical exemplars', this is the follow on project to the pilot 'From Cemetery to Clinic', please follow us on our blog, whilst we are building the 'Digitised Diseases' website.


Last Updated:09 December 2013