Jo-Hannah Plug

Postgraduate Research Student


(Jo-)Hannah Plug was awarded with a BA and an MA in Near Eastern Archaeology at Leiden University. She has done archaeological fieldwork in the Netherlands, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Oman and Turkey. Currently, Hannah is the PGR representative on the ACE Research Committee. In addition to this, she works as a tutor and teaching assistant as part of the Graduate Teaching Fellowship scheme at the University of Liverpool.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

'The Bare Bones: Investigating Burial Practices, Health and Diet in a Changing Late Neolithic World (Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria, 6400-5800 BC)'

Hannah's research focuses on Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria, a key site for the Late Neolithic. At this site major innovations in society, technology and subsistence have been observed, several of which culminate at the end of the 7th Millennium BC. Importantly, the excavations at the site have yielded an exceptional discovery: a sequence of cemeteries dated to ca. 6400-5800 BC.

Considering that human remains represent a proxy for the impact of changing lifestyles on populations, the investigation of mortuary data can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms behind, and effects of, societal change. Variations in diet and mobility are reflected in the chemical composition of the bones; those in health and lifestyle in the pathology of the deceased. Also, social and cultural reactions to a changing world are potentially reflected in funerary practice. In her PhD research Hannah is currently working to integrate these data-sets with each other within one interpretative framework.

Hannah's broader research interests include the study of mortuary practice in the Neolithic Near East, the use of stable isotope analysis for dietary reconstruction, radiocarbon dating, and the study of complex site stratigraphies.

Research Funding

Funded by the University of Liverpool Graduate Teaching Fellowship.