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Brickley Megan, Professor | Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Bioarchaeology of Human Disease

Megan Brickley

Professor | Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Bioarchaeology of Human Disease

Department of Anthropology

Area(s) of Interest:

Research Snaps


Research & Supervisory Interests


Dr. Brickley has a wide range of interests in bioarchaeology and paleopathology. Work has just started on a SSHRC funded project, ‘Social-Cultural Determinants of Community Wellbeing in the Western Roman Empire: Analysis and Interpretation of Vitamin D Status’. This multidisciplinary project involving an international team of experts will use paleopathological, historical and archaeological data to assess the vitamin D status of individuals of differing age, sex and socio-economic groups, from a range of contexts and climates. The project will examine the sociocultural factors that contribute to vitamin D status, and offer new insights into life in the Roman world. The opportunity exists for a small number of students accepted on the graduate program at McMaster to work on this project, providing experience of working overseas and taking part in multidisciplinary research. 


Having completed work on the fragments of human bone from the Battle of Stoney Creek, a War of 1812 site in Hamilton, Dr. Brickley is currently working on a number of aspects of trauma experienced by those who died and taphonomic processes operating at the site. Dr. Brickley has undertaken research on many aspects of trauma in paleopathology and has several ongoing projects in this area.


PhD, University College London, 1998


Courses (2016-17)

  • On Research Leave 

Courses (2015-16)


  • ANTHROP 741 - Bioarchaeological Approaches to Metabolic Bone Diseases


  • ANTHROP 3PP3 - Paleopathology


Recent Publications


Smith, M.J. & Brickley, M.B. (2009). People of the Long Barrows: Life, Death and Burial in the Earlier Neolithic.  The History Press: Stroud.

Brickley, M. & Ives, R. (2008). The Bioarchaeology of Metabolic Bone Disease. San Diego: Academic Press.

Brickley, M. & Ferllini, R. (eds.) (2007). Forensic Anthropology: Case Studies From Europe. Charles C Thomas: Springfield Il.

Brickley, M. & Buteux, S. & Adams, J. & Cherrington, R. (2006). St. Martin’s Uncovered: Investigations in the churchyard of St. Martin’s-in-the-Bull Ring, Birmingham, 2001. Oxbow Books: Oxford.

Smith, D. Brickley, M. & Smith, W. (eds.) (2005). Fertile Ground: Papers in Honour of Professor Susan Limbrey, Oxbow Books: Oxford.

Brickley, M. Miles, A. & Stainer, H. (1999). The Cross Bones Burial Ground, Redcross Way Southwark, London, MoLAS: London.


Recent Articles in Books and Journals

Ives, R. & Brickley, M. (2014). New Findings in the Identification of Adult Vitamin D Deficiency Osteomalacia: Results from a Large-Scale Study. International Journal of Paleopathology. 7:45-56.

Brickley, M.B. Moffat T. & Watamaniuk, L. (2014). Biocultural perspectives of vitamin D deficiency in the past. Journal of Anthropology Archaeology. 36:48-59.

Lockau, L. Dragomir, A. Gilmour, R. Mant, M. & Brickley M. (2013). Bioarchaeological investigation of sharp force injuries to the ribs and lower leg from the battle of Stoney Creek in the War of 1812. Anthropological Science, 121: 217-227.

Brickley, M. Gale, R. & Ciaraldi, M. (2012). Plants and People, In: Hughes, G. Cuttler, R. and Davidson, A. A Corridor Through Time: the archaeology of the A55 Anglesey Road Scheme. Oxbow Books: Oxford. pp. 218-244.

Limbrey, S. Brickley, M. Marques, C. & Swinson, D. (2011). Identification of urate crystals in gouty individuals. Journal of Archaeological Science. 38:2497-2501.

Smith, M.J. Brickley, M.B. & Leach, S (2011). A shot in the dark: Interpreting evidence for prehistoric conflict. In A. Saville (ed.).Flint and Stone in the Neolithic Period. Oxbow Books: Oxford. pp. 256-270.

Swinson, D., Snaith, J. Buckberry, J. & Brickley, M. (2010). HPLC in the investigation of gout in paleopathology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. 20:54-66.

Brickley, M. Mays, S. & Ives, R. (2010). Evaluation and interpretation of residual rickets deformities in adults. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. 20:54-66.

Swinson, D. Snaith, Buckberry, J. & Brickley, M. (2010). HPLC in the investigation of gout in paleopathology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. 20:135-143.

Mays, S. Brickley, M. & Ives, R. (2009).  Growth and vitamin D deficiency in a population from 19th century Birmingham, England. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 19:406-415.

Mays, S. Brickley, M. & Ives, R. (2008).  Growth in an English population from the Industrial Revolution.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 136:85-92.

Mays, S. Brickley, M. & Ives, R. Growth in an English population from the Industrial Revolution. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. In Press.

Mays, S. Brickley, M. & Ives R. (2007). Skeletal evidence for hyperparathyroidism in a 19th century child with rickets. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 17:73-81.

Smith, M. Brickley, M. & Leach, S. (2007). Experimental evidence for lithic projectile injuries: Improving identification of an under-recognised phenomenon. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:540-553.

Brickley, M. Mays, S. & Ives, R. (2007). An Investigation of Skeletal Indicators of Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: Effective Markers for Interpreting Past Living Conditions & Pollution Levels in 18th and 19th Century Birmingham, England. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132:67-79.

Smith, M.J. & Brickley, M.B. (2006). The date and sequence of use of Neolithic funerary monuments: New AMS dating evidence from the Cotswold Severn region. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 25:335-356.

Brickley, M. & Ives, R. (2006).Skeletal manifestations of infantile scurvy. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 129:163-172.

Brickley, M. & Smith, M. (2006). Culturally determined patterns of violence: Biological anthropological investigations at an historic urban cemetery. American Anthropologist 108:163-177.

Brickley, M. (2006). Rib fractures in the archaeological record: a useful source of sociocultural information? International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 16: 61-75.

Mays, S. Brickley, M. & Ives R. (2006). Skeletal manifestations of rickets in infants and young children in an historic population from England. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 129:362-374.

Brickley, M. Mays S. & Ives, R. (2005). Skeletal modifications of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia in documented historical collections. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 15:389-403.

Ives, R. & Brickley, M. (2005). Metacarpal Radiogrammetry. A useful indicator of bone loss throughout the skeleton? Journal of Archaeological Science 32:1552-1559.

Brickley, M. & McKinley, J. (eds.) (2004). Guidance to Standards for Recording Human Skeletal Remains Institute of Field Archaeologists / British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology: University of Reading.

Ives, R. & Brickley, M. (2004). A procedural guide to metacarpal radiogrammetry in archaeology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 14:7-17.

Smith, M. & Brickley, M. (2004). Analysis and interpretation of flint toolmarks found on bones from West Tump Long Barrow, Gloucestershire. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 14:18-33.

Brickley, M. & Thomas, R. (2004). The young woman and her baby or the juvenile and their dog: reinterpreting osteological material from a Neolithic long barrow. Archaeological Journal 161:1-10.