Northern Centre for the History of Medicine and Medical Humanities

Michelle Gamble

Visiting Research Fellow
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University


Subjects: History of Medicine and Archaeology

Personal Profile
I completed my PhD entitled 'Health and Disease in Chalcolithic Cyprus: A problem-oriented palaeopathological study of the human remains' at Newcastle University in December of 2011. Since then, I have continued to pursue my research interests and work in archaeology. My thesis is an archaeology-based project which examines the human skeletal remains, from three discrete sites which date to the Chalcolithic period in Cyprus, for pathological changes reflecting the general health status of the populations. Pathologies on the bones include osteoarthritic changes, trauma, congenital defects and evidence of metabolic disorders, infectious or hematopoietic diseases and dental pathologies such as carious lesions, calculus and linear enamel hypoplasias were recorded, analysed and discussed within the context of the archaeological information. The purpose of these observations is to determine which disease processes may have been present within the Chalcolithic population, as indicated by the skeletal remains. In general, this research has contributed to the understanding of the experiences of those living during this period in Cypriot prehistory. More specifically, the discussion of pathologies adds to the overall understanding of the evolution of health and disease processes on the island, from the earliest populations to modern communities.

Current Research Projects
Excavations at Kissonerga-Skalia, Cyprus – with Lindy Crewe at the University of Manchester

Bone Biographies: Reflections on an osteological re-assessment of Early Bronze Age human remains in Tyne and Wear Museums, 2011 – (working title) with Chris Fowler at Newcastle University

The 1st and 2nd century AD burials from Çatalhöyük, Turkey – with Sophie Moore and Mark Jackson at Newcastle University

Other Research Interests
My research interests include:
• health and disease in Prehistoric Cyprus
• palaeopathology and the continuity of the human experience of dealing with disease in all areas of the world at all periods of time
• bioarchaeological study of human skeletal remains
• archaeological sciences including bone diagenesis studies
• osteological studies of commingled remains
• prehistoric archaeology
• the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and ancient Near East
• mortuary and funerary archaeology
• history and perceptions of the body through time


  • Gamble, M. and C.J. Fowler, (2013), ‘Early Bronze Age Burials from Northeast England: An osteoarchaeological re-assessment of the human skeletal remains in Tyne and Wear Museums’ Archaeologia Aeliana, 42: 47-80.
  • Croucher, K. and M. Gamble, (2013), ‘Using human remains in teaching’, Higher Education Academy Blog,
  • Gamble, M. and K.O. Lorentz, (2013), ‘A preliminary look at the health status of Chalcolithic populations: Inferences from linear enamel hypoplasias’, Proceedings of the Conference: Medicine in the Ancient Mediterranean World, Nicosia, 27-29 September 2008, Oxbow: 259-267.
  • Gamble, M., (2009), ‘Health and Disease in Chalcolithic Cyprus: Preliminary Investigation of the Human Remains from Souskiou-Laona Cemetery, Southwest Cyprus’, Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant, 4.1: 63-64.
  • Gamble, M. (in press), ‘The Human Remains’ in P. Flourentzos, P. Croft, V. Koutrafouri, C. McCartney and M. Gamble, ‘The 2400 Well from Kissonerga’, Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus 2011.
  • Gamble, M., C. Winkelmann and S.C. Fox, (forthcoming), ‘Polydactyly in Chalcolithic Figurines from Cyprus’, Proceedings of the Embodied Identities Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus 12-14 April 2012, Oxbow.
  • Gamble, M. and K.O. Lorentz, (forthcoming), ‘Assessing growth disruptions and preservation levels: Preliminary results on linear enamel hypoplasias at the Souskiou-Laona Chalcolithic cemetery, Cyprus’ in K. Nys and A. Jacobs (eds),  Proceedings of the Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology Conference, Vrije Universiteit, Brussel, 27-28 November 2008 (SIMA-PB), Sävedalen.
  • Gamble, M. (in preparation), ‘Health and Disease in the Village: Results of the skeletal analysis of the human remains from Lemba-Lakkous and Kissonerga-Mosphilia, Cyprus’ (working title).

Doctor of Philosophy – Archaeology, specialising in Palaeopathology and Human Osteology
Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, graduated December 2011
• Supervised by: Kirsi O. Lorentz and Chris Fowler and examined by: Sherry Fox (Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical Studies in Athens) and Andrea Dolfini (Newcastle University).

Master of Arts – History of Medicine
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2007
• Covered topics ranging from medicine in art to clinical records within various periods, with specific emphasis on using archaeological sources in history of medicine discourse.
• Dissertation title: ‘A preliminary investigation into the general health status of the Chalcolithic population in Cyprus: Using dental defects as a reflection of non-specific incidences of stress in childhood’.

Bachelor of Arts – Honours Classical Archaeology and Classical Studies, History minor
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, 2004
• Wide diversity in courses taken has provided a general knowledge-base in a variety of subject areas with a focus in Classical History and Archaeology and Prehistoric Ontario.

Relevant Experience

  • Visiting Research Fellow - Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, May 2012-currently
  • Human Osteologist/Palaeopathologist - Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, August 2012 and August 2013
  • Human Osteologist - Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, April-May 2011
  • Laboratory Supervisor - Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, January-May 2008
  • Fieldschool Supervisor - Lemba Archaeological Research Centre, Cyprus, April 2008 and July 2009
  • Tour Guide - Open Book Tours, Northumberland and Cumbria, England, August-November 2007
  • Small Finds Registrar/Camp Manager - University of Manchester Archaeological Excavations at Kissonerga-Skalia, Cyprus, July 2010 - 2013
  • Field Technician - Golder Associates Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, September – December 2013
  • Excavations at Ayia-Varvara-Asprokremnos, Cyprus, June 2011 and April 2013
  • Wardell-Armstrong Archaeology Ltd., Carlisle, Cumbria, October 2012-December 2012
  • Various commercial companies in Southern Ontario, June 2003-September 2006

Awards Held         
2008  PhD Studentship – Northern Centre for the History of Medicine, Wellcome Trust
• £38-40,000 over a 2 year period for tuition fees and living stipend.
2008 Overseas Research Studentship – Newcastle University
• £12,000 over a 2 year period to partially cover tuition fees.
2007 School of Historical Studies Studentship – Newcastle University
• £3,950 partial tuition fees for postgraduate students.
2013 British Institute At Ankara Strategic Research Initiatives Study Grant
• £1295 for travel and expenses to continue my research in Turkey
2010 Travel Grant - British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology
• £400 for travel and expenses for ICAANE7 in London
2008 Travel Grant – Council for British Research in the Levant
• £645 of funding towards my PhD research in Cyprus.
2012 Gertrude Bell Award – Newcastle University
• £500 research funds for travel to Turkey.
2008 Hector & Elizabeth Catling Award – British School at Athens
• £500 research funds for travel to Cyprus.

News Headlines

PhD Success

Many congratulations from the Centre to Caroline Nielsen, who passed her viva this summer. Additionally, congratulations are due for her appointmen Full Story...

HoM MA Student recalls course of 2011-2012

Janelle Winters recalls her experience with the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine: History of Medicine at Newcastle offers a great co Full Story...

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