Professor Sonia Zakrzewski

Professor Sonia Zakrzewski

Prof of Bioarchaeology & BioAnthropology

Research interests

  • bioarchaeology and palaeopathology
  • disAbility, impairment, injury and disease
  • race, migration and mobility

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.

Connect with Sonia


Sonia is a bioarchaeologist, focusing on human skeletons. Her interests are in biological anthropology, race, human diversity and variability, and the study of the human body to understand aspects of migration and mobility, diet, identity, disease, religious practice and social organisation in past populations.

Her research initially focused upon human dispersals through Egypt and changes associated with the development of state formation. From that, she developed an interest in the interplay between funerary archaeology, the mortuary record and aspects of bodily identity. This research has concentrated on Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt groups and, more recently, on medieval burial grounds (both Christian and Muslim). With her graduate students, she has become interested in the bioarchaeology of religion and the activities associated with religious practice. This has implications for palaeopathology and studies of disease, and, within the skeletal collections at Southampton, the Archaeology department curates one of the earliest documented cases of leprosy in the UK.

She also undertakes research in collaboration with staff in Bioengineering. Together they use computed tomography (CT) to get high resolution images of human bones and teeth, and then use these to understand other aspects of past lives, such as locomotor practices and dental treatment. Together with one of her previous graduate students, they have looked at an unusual Roman dwarf skeleton to evaluate her dis/Ability.  This type of work has been used to improve the development of dental implants and other prosthetics.