Emma Lagan is a PhD candidate who appreciates archaeology as a combination of both history and science. Emma specializes in bioarchaeology, where she uses human remains to understand past populations.
As an archaeology major during her undergraduate degree at Hofstra University, Emma participated in her first field school in 2010. Excavating at the remains of the Blackfriary medieval monastery in Trim, Ireland, Emma developed an interest in understanding the “who” and “why” in skeletal remains. For her undergraduate honors thesis, Emma studied the use of space for burial at the Blackfriary site, particularly focusing on burials within the church. This research led her to continue her education at New York University, where she received her Masters degree from the Department of Anthropology, specializing in Human Skeletal Biology. Continuing to explore medieval burials, she collected data from the medieval site of Øm Kloster, Denmark for her masters thesis. Using dental wear and oral health, Emma’s thesis examined status differences between the church and cemetery at this site.
Currently, Emma is working on her PhD dissertation. She is studying Fort Ancient populations in prehistoric Ohio, using dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) to understand dietary changes and cultural interaction. She presented a pilot study on this research at the 62nd Annual Midwestern Archaeological Conference in 2018. In 2019, she examined caries rates as a proxy for agriculture in these Fort Ancient populations for a poster at the 88th Annual American Association of Physical Anthropology Meetings. Previously, with the help of a colleague, Emma created an app called “Molware” which improves the method of measuring and recording dental macrowear.
As a member of HEADS, Emma appreciates the support, feedback, and comradery the group has to offer, constantly pushing her to do better.