Beyond the debiles: writing dis/ability stories from skeleton

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Beyond the debiles: writing dis/ability stories from skeleton

November 11 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Beyond the debiles: Writing dis/ability stories from skeletons

by Stephanie Evelyn-Wright

This talk describes a project that explores impairment and disability in Roman Britain through the study of human skeletal remains. The lecture showcases data obtained from the 3rd-4th century AD cemetery site of Alington Avenue, Dorset, UK. The project has multiple stages to the process, starting with identifying actual people with impairments through their skeletons, understanding these individuals’ likely biomedical symptoms and differences, and then contextualizing these within a social and physical context. This process required the integration of disparate data sets including archaeological, ancient historical, osteoarchaeological and clinical. Initially, the fictive narrative writing style allowed the author to better combine the different data sets together. It was discovered, however, that this style of writing is especially helpful when exploring the experiential aspects of palaeopathology. The fictive narrative style also makes research more accessible to a wider audience, something that is particularly important in a study about disability, a discipline embroiled in a long fight for improved accessibility.

This event will be both in person at Burlington House and online. Please select the appropriate ticket below.

Attendance at Burlington House:

  • Open to anyone to join, Fellows and Non-Fellows.
  • Places in person will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The event will begin at 17.00 BST. Please arrive in plenty of time.
  • Tea/Coffee for Fellows is served from 16.30 BST
  • Registration is essential for non-Fellows but we encourage Fellows to register as well.
  • Fellows must ensure they sign the guest book and sign their guests in.
  • All attendees should scan the NHS QR code available at the entrance. For further details on the Government guidelines regarding COVID-19 and track and trace please visit their website here.

The schedule for the evening if attending in person:

  • Refreshments for Fellows are served from 16.30 BST in the council room.
  • The meeting begins at 17.00 BST with the lecture starting at approximately 17.10 BST.
  • Lectures run for approximately 45min and are followed by a short Q&A.
  • Sherry is served in the Foyer following the lecture.

Attendance by Live Stream:

  • Open to anyone to join, Fellows and Non-Fellows.
  • The event will be live-streamed to YouTube here
  • The event will begin at 17.00 BST.
  • You will receive an email reminder with the link to join the day before the lecture.

Please help the Society continue to deliver our FREE online Lecture Programme by making a donation to cover the cost of upgraded IT and software. We would really appreciate your support. Thank you! 

If you have any questions, please contact us on [email protected]

Get tickets online


November 11
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:


Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London, W1J 0BE United Kingdom
020 7479 7080