Dr Kirsty Squires is a leading expert in the study of past cremation practices, bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. In co-editing the first-ever book investigating early medieval cremation practices with Femke Lippok (Leiden University), we are pleased to be able to showcase Kirsty’s work and ideas. Introduced and concluded with co-authored chapters by Femke and myself, Cremation in the Early Middle Ages will be distinctively crafted from structured interviews supported by fact-boxes introducing key discoveries and approaches.

Having interviewed Rica Annaert, Dr Egge KnolDr Raimund Masanz and Dr Gareth Perry, our interview with Kirsty explored the archaeology of early Anglo-Saxon cremation practices from a bioarchaeological perspective. As well as surveying her past work on the mortuary variability of the Cleatham and Elsham cemeteries and also her micromorphological investigations into cremation technologies, Kirsty was keen to identify the important methodological shifts currently underway in the study of past cremation. Kirsty emphasised the need to look at mortuary variability beyond the most-studied site-type of Spong Hill, and further work is most definitely required on Cleatham and Elsham as well as other early Anglo-Saxon cremation cemeteries. Her chapter will complement the ceramic and landscape work of Dr Gareth Perry in the book.

We’ll keep you updated regarding future interviews!

Photo credit: burning backdrop from Kenneth Brophy, Corinne Goeckeritz and Gavin MacGregor: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00665983.2017.1309950?tab=permissions&scroll=top