Photo of Dr Kristin Leith

Dr Kristin Leith

Research interests

My research interest is in the materiality of gender and mortuary behaviour in Bronze and Iron Age Greece.


(Chapter).K. E. Leith. Forthcoming 2017. Threads of lives: the deposition of spindle whorls and shifting gender identities in Middle Helladic and Mycenaean burial practice. In Between Life and Death: Interactions between Burial and Society in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (Proceedings of the International Conference held at the University of Liverpool, 11th – 12th May, 2011), BAR International Series. Oxford: Archaeopress.

(Article) Leith, K. E. 2016. 'Manly hearted' Mycenaeans' (?): challenging preconceptions of warrior ideology in Mycenae's Grave Circle B. Journal of Greek Archaeology(1).

Research collaborations

I recently worked as a researcher and Curator's Assistant under the direction of the Curator of Ethnography, Tony Eccles, at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter on the Discovering Worlds project. This project investigated the Melanesian modified crania in the Museum's Pacific Collection -- objects that had spent most of the 80-odd years since their donation packed safely away in store and hidden from view.

In this role, I instigated and acted as research lead on a collaboration between RAMM and the University of Exeter's Department of Archaeology, which facilitated the bioarchaeological analysis of RAMM's Melanesian skulls. For this project, I undertook research on the ethnographic and anthropological context of the skulls, as well as the donor histories; Dr. Catriona McKenzie conducted the macroscopic analysis; Prof. Alan Outram performed a use-wear and modification analysis, Dr. Linda Hurcombe analysed the materials used for decoration; and Professor of Radiology Iain Watt facilitated the CT Scanning and x-ray of the skulls.

The research was presented in the 'Curating Human Remains' Conference at the University of Bristol (2016) and has produced an article 'The materiality of mana: the research and display of RAMM's Melanesian modified crania' (in preparation). On 7 March at 1pm, the project will be discussed as part of a RAMM Lunchtime Talk, which is open to the public.