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Erin Thompson – University of Reading

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  • Archaeology Postgraduate Students

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Erin Thompson

Puberty and Health in Rural Medieval England.

The aim of this project is to explore the nature of adolescence and the timing of puberty in boys and girls from rural medieval England. Two key issues will be addressed. The first is the absence of substantial research into the health of adolescents from rural populations in medieval England. The second issue is our previous inability to consistently determine the sex of puberty-aged individuals, a crucial factor in understanding the tempo of puberty. This research will utilize peptide analysis from dental enamel to obtain biological sex which allows for the puberty status to be analysed by sex and age. For the first time, this research will allow patterns of puberty to be assessed in rural medieval England. It will also refine the available sexing techniques and allow the accuracy of peptide analysis to be measured against age and puberty status that influence hormone levels.


About Me:

I hold a BA in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University (Canada) and an MSc (with Merit) in Palaeopathology from Durham University (England). My MSc dissertation studied the formation of sub-periosteal new bone formation (SPNBF) in perinatal and infant individuals. Prior to commencing my PhD, I was working as a consulting archaeologist in Canada and have participated in bioarchaeological field programs in Peru, Romania, Canada and the U.K. I enjoy engaging in community outreach and teaching both children and adults about the amazing things that can be learned by studying the people of the past.

Research Interests:

  •  Childhood health
  •  Adolescent health and development
  •  Palaeopathology

Research Groups:

Diet, Health and the Life Course 

  Erin Thompson


Linked in 


Professor Mary Lewis(University of Reading)

Dr Gabor Thomas  (University of Reading) 

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