Dr. James Morris

Lecturer in Archaeology

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Maudland building, MB 107D

+44 (0) 1772 89 4150


Subject Areas: Archaeology

James has an experienced background in archaeology, zooarchaeology and professional practise. His primary research interests are in the complex, varied and significant connections between humans and animals. This has given him a multi-period focus, with his work ranging from Neolithic animal burials to monkeys in 19th century London. James is also active in undertaking collaborative projects between the academic and commercial archaeology sectors.

James is research active within the area of archaeology and is a member of the Archaeology Research Group.

Full Profile

James undertook a BSc in Archaeology followed by a MSc in Osteoarchaeology at Bournemouth University. He then went on to work as a field archaeologist for a number of archaeological companies in the south of England, excavating a variety of sites from Bronze Age barrows to an Augustinian Friary.

As well as being promoted to the running of excavations, James also built up his expertise in zooarchaeology conducting a number of reports on material from the archaeological rich cities of Southampton and Winchester. He returned to Bournemouth University to complete his PhD in zooarchaeology, conducting an innovative investigation into animal burials from the Neolithic to late Medieval periods. Whilst at Bournemouth James also contributed to both undergraduate and post-graduate teaching.

In 2009 he took up the post of zooarchaeologist at Museum of London Archaeology, and the part-time post of Tutor in Archaeology at Warwick University. During this time he reported on a wide variety of important sites, notably Roman material from the centre of Londinium, middle Saxon material from Trafalgar square and post-medieval assemblage form Royal London Hospital as well as successful developed collaborative projects with a number of academic partners including Cambridge, Nottingham and Leicester universities. During this period James interests expanded into the post-medieval periods and particularly how humans affect animal health, always leading back to the question ‘what can this tell us about humanities past?’

James has publishing in leading academic journals, edited volumes as well as his own books. A review of his latest book on animal burials in the journal Environmental Archaeology referred to it as ‘epic’, commenting 'it should be on your bookshelf’. He has presented at international conferences in Europe, North and Central America. James has also successful collaborated on exhibitions at the Museum of London and Florence Nightingale Museum, been interviewed by the Guardian and taken part in BBC and Channel 4 productions.

James joined UCLan in 2012, bringing his expertise and knowledge to the department. He believes the most important things he does is pass on his knowledge and passion for archaeology whilst helping students to develop real life skills and follow their own research interests.

James has written an article for The Conversation entitled: The Rose and the property developer: a cautionary tale on the perils of hasty urban planning.


Thomas, R, Holmes, M and Morris, James (2013) "So bigge as bigge may be": tracking size and shape change in domestic livestock in London (AD 1220-1900). Journal of Archaeological Science, - (-). ISSN 0305-4403 (In Press) Item not available from this repository.

SERJEANTSON, D. and Morris, James (2011) RAVENS AND CROWS IN IRON AGE AND ROMAN BRITAIN. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 30 (1). pp. 85-107. ISSN 02625253 Item availability may be restricted.

Morris, James (2011) Animal 'Ritual' Killing: from Remains to Meanings. In: The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals: European Perspectives. Oxbow, Oxford, pp. 8-21. ISBN 9781842174449 Item availability may be restricted.

Morris, James (2011) Investigating Animal Burials: Ritual, Mundane and Beyond. British Series, 535 . British Archaeological reports, Oxford. ISBN 9781407308128 Item availability may be restricted.

More publications


PhD Archaeology, Bournemouth University, 2008. Title ‘Re-examining Associated Bone Groups from Southern England and Yorkshire, c.4000BC to AD1550’

MSc Osteoarchaeology, Bournemouth University, 2002.

BSc Archaeology, Bournemouth University, 2000.


Member Association for Environmental Archaeology (Committee member 2011-2015)

Member International Council of Archaeozoologists

Member Professional Zooarchaeology Group

Member of the Institute for Archaeologists

Member Royal Archaeological Institute

Member Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

Member Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology

Member London and Middlesex Archaeological Society


James is module tutor for FZ3206 Introduction to Professional Practice

He also contributes to:

FZ1201 Archaeology of Britain

FZ1202 Introduction to Archaeology

FZ1205 Bodies, Bones and Burials

FZ2202 Archaeological Research and Study

FZ2210 Post Roman Britain

FZ2206 Thinking About the Past: Archaeological Theory

FZ3210 Early Medieval Britain

FZ3206 Introduction to Professional Practice

External Activities

Association for Environmental Archaeology committee member (website manager), term 2012-2015

Institute for Archaeologists, Research and Impact Special Interest Group, treasurer, term 2013-2016


James' research focuses on the connections between humans and other animals. My approach is often to integrate animal bone data from archaeological sites with other forms of material culture and wider theoretical discussions. My research covers wide temporal and geographical areas, current major themes include:

How animal transformations inform on social concepts
The use of animals in ritualised activities
Cultural changes, in particular the development of urban environments and empires.
Humans understanding of animal health, and the development of veterinary science
The history and development of zooarchaeology


Principle investor: Animal Health in Roman London

Principle investor: Ribchester Roman Town.

Collaborator: Chicken Coop: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Domestic Fowl

Collaborator: The bigger the cow the better she is: tracking domestic livestock improvement in London (AD 1300-1800)


2013 Society of Historic Archaeology, Leicester University. "Animals, science and empire: London’s animals as scientific objects".

2012 Institute for Archaeologists Conference, Oxford." A view from the lab: beyond data producers and users" (co-author Natasha Powers).

2011 Theoretical Archaeology Group, Birmingham University. "'Only an imitation made by a novice’: animals as scientific objects".

2010 Theoretical Archaeology Group, Bristol University. "The deposition of concepts: bones and social processes".

2010 International Council of Archaeozoology conference, Paris. "Animal biographies".

2009 European Association of Archaeologists, Riva del Garda. "From remains to meaning".

2009 Association for Environmental Archaeology, York University. "Profiling Commercial Zooarchaeology in the UK".