Search records

Human bone assessment: a database for study of the prehistoric and early medieval populations of the Isle of Man

Date(s): 1998-2000

Creator(s): Centre for Manx Studies

Scope & Content: A report to the bio-anthropological Foundation on the prehistory and early medieval populations of the Isle of Man: Stage 1. A database of the human bone held by Manx National Heritage
Leaflet for the Seminar on bio-archaeology held at the Manx Museum 04 11 1998 to 06 11 1998
Welcome statement for the Seminar on bio-archaeology held at the Manx Museum 04 11 1998 to 06 11 1998.

01 09 1998 PRT to Maureen Quayle (BAF) with a research proposal to the Bio-anthropological foundation by CMS; 2 A4 pages.
04 to 06 09 1998 advert for Bioarchaeology seminar at the Manx Museum; one-page explanatory note about the BAF.
29 04 1999 PRT notes after 27 04 1999 meeting with MNH about assessment stage; 2 typed A4 pages.
10 06 1999 MNH (Sue Palmer) to PRT answers to queries about human bone assessment proposal.
22 06 1999 PRT to Charlotte Roberts with a request for her look over the recording method and technique.
Unknown date PRT handwritten note for a letter to Sue Palmer (MNH) about starting points for project proposal.
28 06 1999 Charlotte Roberts to PRT with reply to 22 06 1999 letter and suggestion to get in touch with Jackie McKinley.
30 06 1999 PRT to Sue Palmer (MNH) with ideas of a two-stage assessment.
02 07 1999 Sue Palmer (MNH) to PRT in reply to 30 06 1999 letter; possible to work from !8th August.
Unknown date Sue Palmer to PRT with bone references from Multi Mimsy; list of 40 bone references.
05 01 2000 – M Quayle (BAF) to PRT with a request for a progress report on the project.
11 10 2000 – Susie White to PRT with a recording form devised for the skeletal material from Sinai; form in 4 x A4 pages.

The development of a recording system
One A4 page of handwritten notes (by PRT) about devising a recording system.
Two-page detailed presentation of the structure of the data-base.
Single page diagram of human skeleton with the names of the main bones marked.
Six A4 pages with stages in the design of the recording form.
Copy of Liverpool University Skeleton Recording Form.
Key to completing recording form; explanation of terms to use and where on the form.

Primary record made during the project
Two recording forms were used: 1 - for providing a summary for each collection together with bibliographic references and 2 – for recording groups and bones. A total of 57 forms were completed between 23 06 1999 and 29 05 2001, as follows:
Collection 1 Rushen Abbey 1 of Form 1 and 10 of Form 2.
Collection 2 Rushen Abbey 1 of Form 1.
Collection 3 Balladoole 1 of Form 1 and 28 of Form 2.
Collection 5 Rushen Abbey 1 of Form 1.
Collection 42 Cronk Keeillane 1988 15 of Form 2.

A report to the Bioanthropological Foundation on the prehistoric and early medieval populations of the Isle of Man: Stage 1. AS database of the human bone held by Manx National Heritage by Dr P R Tomlinson; 9 A4 pages plus 2 pages of bibliography and appendices:
Appendix 1 database structure.
Appendix 2 A full list of the human bones held by MNH as at January 2001; 11 A4 pages plus key.
Appendix 3 Bibliography of Manx bone reports; 2 A4 pages.
Appendix 4 List of human bones from the Isle of Man that have been carbon dated.

Administration / Biographical History: The aim of the project was to carry out a thorough inventory and assessment of the Manx Museum collections of human bone. The project was to be carried out in two phases: part one was to produce a very simple list of all the human bone held at the Manx Museum by looking though all the boxes, having a rapid look at the contents and recording basic information e.g. nature of burial, no. of individuals, no. of pieces of bone, preservation, size and range of the fragments along with the associated information e.g. box no, location etc. Once this inclusive stage was complete and the amount of existent material was clear the second phase was a more detailed assessment of the bone. The project was part funded by the Bio-anthropological foundation (BAF).

A database and inventory of the human remains that are held by the Manx Museum was produced, in such a way that some basic analysis of the results could be achieved. The relevant part of the database was transferred to MNH for their records. A research report was also produced which included a full listing plus some analysis of the data with a summary of the state of the material and of any previously reported analysis together with proposals for further research.

Language: English

Collection: Manuscript Archive

Level: FILE

ID number: MS 14146/43

Access conditions: No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material. Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing


Optional, not displayed

Manx National Heritage (MNH) will always put you in control of the information we send you. Read our privacy policy