Centre for Death & Society

Dr Duncan Sayer

Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire

Email: dsayer@uclan.ac.uk

Visit Duncan's staff profile at  the University of Central Lancashire for a full list of his research and publications.


Duncan Sayer is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire.  He has a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Reading. Duncan has been a project officer for Oxford Archaeology East, PCA London and ASE Archaeology. He has worked on excavation and survey projects in France, Libya, Scotland, as well as in England. He has excavated a number of notable cemetery sites and was the senior archaeologist at King Cross. He has taught field archaeology since 2001 for a number of universities and has worked at Bibracte, Burgundy, and as a key member of staff at Silchester, Hampshire.

Duncan is currently engaged in a number of research projects, and has just published a volume on 'Mortuary Archaeology and Identity in the Middle Ages', for Exeter University Press and is working on 'The Archaeology of Post Medieval Religion', for the society of post-medieval archaeology and church archaeology.

Duncan is a founding member of the Association for the Study of Death and Society.

Research Interests:

  • Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries
  • Kinship and the family
  • The organisation of cemeteries
  • Social change in the medieval, post-medieval and contemporary society
  • Archeology of wold and water places

Duncans research focuses on north-western Europe and he has a professional interest in archaeological practice, methodology and the ethical issues surrounding human remains.

Selected Publications:

King, C. & Sayer, D. (eds) (2011). The Archaeology of Post-Medieval Religion. Woodbridge, Boydell.

Sayer, D. (2011) Death and the Dissenter: group identity and stylistic simplicity as witnessed in nineteenth-century nonconformist gravestones.  Historical Archaeology 45(4): 115-134.
Sayer, D. (2011) Bowls, Bobbins and Bones: Resolving the Human Remains Crisis in British Archaeology, A Response. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 21:

Sayer, D. Mortimer, R. & Simpson, F. (2011). Anglo-Saxon Oakington: Life and death in the East Anglian Fens. Current Archaeology 261: 20-27.

Sayer, D. (2010) Ethics and Burial Archaeology. Bristol, Duckworth, Debates in Archaeology.

Sayer, D. ( 2010) Death and the family: developing a generational chronology. Journal of Social Archaeology Vol 10 issue 1

Sayer, D. (2010) Who’s Afraid of the Dead. Archaeology, modernity and the death taboo. World Archaeology, 42(3), pp481-491                       

Sayer, D. & Pitts, M. (2010) The Human Remains Crisis, British Archaeology, 115, pp34-35

Sayer, D & Williams H (eds) (2009) Mortuary Practice and Social Identities in the Middle Ages. Exeter, The Exeter University Press.

Sayer, D. (2009) 'The 7th century Kentish family: considering the evidence from the legal codes and cemetery organisation. In D Sayer & H Williams (eds) Mortuary Practice and Social Identities in the Middle Ages. Exeter: The Exeter University Press.

Williams H & Sayer, D. (2009) 'Hall of Mirrors: Death & Identity in Medieval archaeology. In D. Sayer & H Williams (eds) Mortuary Practice and Social Identities in the Middle Ages. Exeter: The Exeter University Press.

Sayer, D. (2009) 'Is there a crisis facing British burial archaeology?' Antiquity Vol 83, Number 319, pp199-205

Selected presentations

‘Bones without Barriers: digging the dead without hiding’
Conference presentation
Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, Bristol, December 2010  Profile text (around 300 words)