Margaret Judd

  • Associate Professor

Margaret Judd received her PhD from the University of Alberta (2000), following an MSc from the University of Bradford (1994) and BA from Wilfrid Laurier University (1993). She was Special Collections Curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt & Sudan at The British Museum before coming to the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. She is a bioarchaeologist who recently completed the excavation of a Byzantine crypt at the ancient monastery at Mount Nebo, Jordan. She has worked extensively in Jordan and northern Sudan, in addition to Russia, Egypt, Italy and Canada.

Her interests focus on shifts in health and associated funerary treatment as effected by technological, behavioral and sociopolitical changes. Specific interests include paleopathology, trauma, life history, injury recidivism and daily practice. Her current research will assess health and diet among Iron Age and Ottoman period nomads and agriculturalists.

Dr Judd is Associate Editor for the International Journal of Paleopathology.

Margaret Judd@Academia

Margaret Judd@ResearchGate


Advanced Skeletal Analysis

Undergraduate Seminar. This course provides the student with an in-depth understanding of the skeletal features used to develop the osteobiographic profile (age, sex, stature, ancestry, handedness) of an individual. This analysis is essential for forensic identification and forms the basis for the reconstruction of ancient individuals and their life-ways. Each student will select some aspect of skeletal analysis and present an overview of the bone biology, the history of the analytical methods, the problems and advantages of each method, modifications that others have made to address these issues, and the current state of knowledge. In the past, some students have proposed new methods of analysis. This will be complemented by a lab exercise designed by the student that will provide data for interobserver analysis of various techniques. The results of this lab will be presented as a poster conference at the end of the term. Prior osteological experience is required.


The human skeleton provides the most direct and unchallenged evidence for an individual’s past behavior as the skeleton is plastic in its response to stress, much the same as a society responds to social and environmental stress. While the artifacts, architecture and features recovered from an excavation leave a cultural imprint on the landscape, so too does culture and behavior leave an impression on the deceased. The individual is not just a biological shell to be cleaved from its cultural context, but rather forms a social package contingent upon culture during life and in death. We will examine social change and behavior from the perspective of the deceased within geographically diverse funerary contexts. We will evaluate factors that may influence the funerary context, such as differential burial practices, preservation and observer error. We will examine traditional labels to explore the topics of gender, biological vs. chronological age, and life course thresholds. 

Core Course in Physical Anthropology

The primary goal of the Physical Anthropology Core course is to equip all graduate anthropology students with a broad background and understanding of the historical development of the method, theory and diversity of physical anthropology. We begin with our own body to understand role of genetics and epigenetics in shaping human plasticity, disease, growth and development; we then apply these concepts to forensic anthropology, paleopathology and bioarchaeology. The second half of the course traces the human lineage and behavior from the earliest human adaptive markers ~7 mya to the final migration to the New World, with a focus on current debates. Topics will be examined through journal articles, lecture, seminar, lab and case study exercises.

Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

Forensic anthropology brings together several areas of anthropology, notably human skeletal analysis, taphonomy and archaeology within a medicolegal context. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of human osteology and analytical methods required to develop an osteobiographical profile of the deceased (e.g., age at death, biological sex, stature, ancestry). Student will be introduced to basic methods in discovery, excavation, recording and contextual interpretation of human remains in a forensic context. Finally, we will examine activity markers, trauma patterns and common pathological conditions visible on the skeleton that aid in identification.


Hanks, B. K., Ventresca Miller, A. R., Judd, M. A., Epimakhov, A. V., & Razhev, D. (Early view).  Bronze Age diet and economy: new stable isotope data from the Central Eurasian Steppes (2100-1700 BC) Journal of Archaeological Science. doi:

Kesterke, M. J., & Judd, M. A. (Early view). Paget’s disease of bone from a Byzantine monastic crypt at Mount Nebo, Jordan International Journal of Paleopathology, doi: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2018.08.005.

Judd, M. A., Walker, J., Hanks, B., Ventresca Miller, A. R., Rajev, D., & Epimakhov, A. (Early View). Life in the,fast lane: settled pastoralism on the Central Eurasian Steppes during the Middle Bronze Age. American, Journal of Human Biology DOI:10.1002/ajhb.23129

Kesterke, M. J., Judd, M. A., Mooney, M. P., Siegel, M. I., Elsalanty, M., Howie, R. N.,Weinberg, S.M. Cray, J. J. (Early View). Maternal Environment and Craniofacial Growth: Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Mandibular Shape Changes with In Utero Thyroxine Overexposure in Mice Journal of Anatomy DOI: 10.1111/joa.12810

Judd, M. A. (2018). A truncated styloid process from the Jordanian Ottoman Period: developmental variant or fracture? International Journal of Paleopathology 20: 98-103.

Judd, M. A. (2017). Injury recidivism revisited: Clinical research and limitations. In C. Tegtmeyer & D. Martin (Eds.), Broken Bones, Broken Bodies: Bioarchaeological and Forensic Approaches for Accumulative Trauma and Violence. Lexington Books, pp. 209-234.

Ventresca Miller A, B Hanks, MA Judd, AV Epimakhov and D Rajev (2017). Weaning behaviors among Pastoralists: New Evidence of Infant Feeding Practices from Bronze Age Eurasia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 162: 409-22.

Redfern R, MA Judd and S DeWitte (2016). Multiple injury and health in past societies: an analysis of concepts and approaches, and insights from a multi-period study. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 27: 418-29.

Gregoricka, L. A., & Judd, M. A. (2016). Isotopic evidence for diet among historic Bedouin of Khirbat al Mudayna, Jordan. International Journal of Osteoarchaeoly 26: 705-715.

Judd, MA, Seltzer D, and C Binkosk (2015) Community health at Tell er-Rumeith. In TJ Barako and NL Lapp (Ed) Tell er-Rumeith. The Excavations of Paul W. Lapp, 1962 and 1967. American Schools of Oriental Research, Archaeological Reports 22. Pp. 233-258.

Judd, M. A. (2014). Growing up in Gabati. In J.A. Anderson & D.W.Welsby (Eds.) The Fourth Cataract and Beyond. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Nubian Studies, London, pp. 1115-1124.

Judd, M. A. (2012). Gabati: A Meroitic, Post-Meroitic and Medieval Cemetery in Central Sudan Volume 2: The Physical Anthropology. Oxford: BAR Vol. S2442.

Baker BJ and MA Judd (2012) Development of Paleopathology in the Nile Valley. In History Of Paleopathology: Pioneers and Prospects. Buikstra J, Roberts C and Schreiner SM (eds). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 209-34

Judd, MA. & R. Redfern (2012) Trauma. In A. Grauer (Ed), Companion to Paleopathology. Blackwell, pp. 259-279.

Judd, MA (2010) Pubic symphyseal face eburnation: an Egyptian sport story? International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 20:280-290.

Judd, M. A. (2010). The 2010 excavation season at the Chapel of Robebus. Liber Annuus 60: 425-428.

Judd, M. A. (2010). The multiple burial in the Building 600 at Tall Jawa. In P. M. M. Daviau (Ed.), Tall Jawa Excavations Volume IV: The Early Islamic House. Leiden: Brille, pp. 112-133.

Judd, MA (2009) Dying to serve: the mass burials at Kerma. Antiquity 83(321):709-722.

Judd, M. A. (2009). The 2008 excavation season at the Chapel of Robebus. Liber Annuus 58: 524-528.

Judd, M. A. (2009). Bioarchaeology east of Jordan. In P. Bientrowski (Ed.), Studies on Iron Age Moab and Neighbouring Areas in Honour of Michèle Daviau. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, pp. 245-273.

Judd, M. A. (2009). Cemetery excavation and bioarchaeology, 2006 (p. 359-360). In PMM Daviau, A Dolan, J Ferguson, CM Foley, L Foley, CJ Gohm, MA Judd and M Weigl. Preliminary report of excavations and survey at Khirbat al-Mudayna and its surroundings (2004, 2006 and 2007) Annual of theDepartment of Antiquities of Jordan 52: 343-374

Judd, M. A. (2008). The human skeletal analysis. In S. Salvatori & D. Usai (Eds.), A Northern Dongola Reach Neolithic Cemetery. The R12. London: Sudan Archaeological Research Society Press Publication Number 16, pp. 83-104.

Judd, M. A. (2008). The crypts at the Chapel of Robebus, Mount Nebo. Liber Annuus 57: 656-660.

Buzon, MR and MA Judd (2008) Investigating health at Kerma: Sacrificial vs. nonsacrificial individuals. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 136: 93-99.

Judd, MA (2008) The parry problem. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 35:1658-1666.

Judd, MA (2006) Continuity of interpersonal violence between Nubian communities. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131: 324-333.

Judd, MA (2004) Trauma in the city of Kerma: ancient versus modern injury patterns. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 14:34-51.

Judd, M. A. (2002). One accident too many? British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan.

Daviau, P. M. M., Judd, M., & Beckmann, M. (2002). Artefact classification and typology. In P. M. M. Daviau (Ed.), Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan: Volume 2 The Iron Age Artefacts.  Leiden: Brill, pp. 19-211.

Judd, MA (2002) Ancient injury recidivism: an example from the Kerma Period of ancient Nubia. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 12:89-106.

Judd, MA (2002) Comparison of long bone trauma recording methods. Journal of Archaeological Science 29:1255-1265.

Judd, M. A., & Roberts, C. A. (1999). Fracture trauma in a medieval British farming village. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 109: 229-243.

Judd, MA, Roberts, CA (1999) Fracture trauma in a medieval British farming village. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 109:229-43. (with Charlotte A. Roberts).