On this page





+44 (0)1382 381375


Dr Diana Swales is the Programme Lead for the MSc Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology and Lecturer in Forensic Archaeology. Her teaching principally focuses on forensic archaeology at MSc level but she also contributes topics in forensic taphonomy, osteology and skeletal pathology, and forensic science and the law for BSc and MSc modules. She supervises BSc and MSc dissertations in these subject areas.

She holds a BA(Hons) in Archaeology and Prehistory (2001), an MSc in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology (2002), and PhD (a bio-cultural study of the Early Medieval Black Gate cemetery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) (2013) from the University of Sheffield.

Since 2002, she has worked as an osteoarchaeologist in both the commercial and academic sectors. Her experience includes the excavation and post-excavation analysis of various burial contexts including Bronze Age flexed burials, Iron Age burial grounds, large scale Roman inhumation and cremation cemeteries, post-medieval church crypts, cathedral burials, Roman and Medieval mass graves and African captives from the South Atlantic slave trade emancipated on the island of St Helena. 

From the completion of her PhD in 2013 Dr Swales was employed as the Demonstrator in Human Osteology in the Department of Archaeology and Tutor on the Foundation Programme in the Department for Lifelong Learning at the University of Sheffield. She joined the University of Dundee as Lecturer in Forensic Archaeology in January 2017.

Dr Swales’ research interests are focused on osteoarchaeology, biological anthropology, palaeopathology and burial environments in both archaeological and forensic contexts.

Dr Swales undertakes casework in Scotland including the recovery of human remains from investigations of suspicious death, clandestine burials and fire scenes, as well as the search for missing persons. 

Dr Swales is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).