Department of Archaeology

One Health

Image of a grave taken at the Caistor Roman Town Project

These studies are revealing just how inter-connected health is, and has always been, to the wider environments that we construct for ourselves



One Health is a global movement, highlighting the necessity for a joined-up approach to all aspects of health care for humans, animals, plants and the wider environment. These health issues arise from an increasing human population and associated intensification of food production, urbanisation, globalisation, climate change, and conflict. None of these are exclusively modern phenomena and they can be contextualised by a deep time archaeological perspective to inform current mitigation strategies. We have access to large quantities of human, animal and plant remains, soils, minerals and landscapes that can be characterised and analysed to understand the dynamics of human-animal-environmental health over millennia.

Our department’s research connects environmental evidence with settlement, human-animal life expectancy and disease data, as well as isotope studies of diet and migration. Investigations of high-resolution ice core, landscape surveys of ancient mines and human remains are showing us the health implication of lead pollution in Europe from prehistory to the present. We are also exploring how diseases, but also medical knowledge, travelled along the Silk Road.

Many of our students research cultural attitudes to health and medicinal practices, particularly the significance of humoral medicine and elemental philosophy to pre-Enlightenment societies. These ancient philosophies recognised that human well-being was intimately linked to the wider physical world. As such, they represented the original One Health concept, to which we might consider returning.  

Mycenaean gold ring with depiction of two girls from Chrysanthi Gallou's Childhood project
Image of medicinal plants depicted on a Mycenaean gold ring from Chrysanthi Gallou's research




  • Chicken Project and Going Places (Ethiopia) Project
  • Easter Eg – Shifting Baselines and Changing Perceptions of Cultural and Biological ‘Aliens’
  • Nine Lives, Nine Tails, One Health (Cats project)
  • Archaeology of Medicine and Wellbeing
  • The Historic Ice Core Project
  • Poisoned chalice: The effects of lead on human health in Britian
  • Caistor Roman town
  • The development of horticulture in Britain
  • The origins and development of ancient glass and glaze technologies 

How to get involved

  • Join our Human-Animal-Environment HumAnE lab
  • Take our "Dead Important" module


Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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