Jonny Geber

Jonny Geber_UCC Archaeology

Dr Jonny Geber holds a two year postdoctoral fellowship (Government of Ireland), funded by the Irish Research Council (GOIPD/2013/36). He is originally from Sweden, and he undertook his initial studies in archaeology (MA) and archaeoosteology (MA) at Mid Sweden University (1999–2001), Stockholm University via Gotland University (2001–03). In 2000, he was awarded a Nordic Council of Minister’s scholarship (Nordplus) that enabled him to study archaeology for one semester at the University of Copenhagen. Prior to joining the Department of Archaeology at UCC, he had completed his doctoral research at School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast (2008–12) with a thesis entitled: ‘They died in the Great Irish Famine: A biocultural study of human remains from mass burials at Kilkenny Union Workhouse (supervisors: Dr Eileen Murphy, Dr Colm Donnelly, Dr Mark Gardiner). He has also worked as a human and animal bone specialist in the commercial archaeological heritage consultancy sector in Ireland and Britain for more than ten years (Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, Oxford Archaeology and Cotswold Archaeology), and written over 200 osteological reports.

The bioarchaeology of childhood during the Great Irish Famine: Experienced realities and institutional care of children in the Kilkenny Union Workhouse

This research is a bioarchaeological study of childhood during famine, which places a particular focus on the sensory, cognitive and physiological realities of the child victims of the Great Hunger in Ireland (1845–52). The main source of data comprises the skeletons of 545 children that were discovered within mass burials adjacent to the former union workhouse in Kilkenny City in 2005. Through a multidisciplinary and holistic approach, this research will enable a vivid insight to be gained into the realities of childhood in Ireland during this period, as well as the effects and manifestation of starvation and famine in an archaeological non-adult population.

The project aims to explore the experience of childhood during the Great Irish Famine with a focus on the institutional care of the children within the union workhouse in Kilkenny City. It will have a primary focus on the human skeletal remains and their physiological reflection of famine and the life experiences endured by these children. The palaeopathological evidence of disease and malnutrition will be fully integrated in a biocultural approach where the human experience of disease will be thoroughly discussed to enable a much better cognitive and psychological insight into the reality of children in this famine struck population. The research will also place a focus on the sensory perception of materialities and material culture, which in this study relates to the architectural confinement of the workhouse institution, the material culture of the industry in the workhouse, and the mass burials themselves. Finally, by assessing age-at-death profiles and pathology frequencies, a much better understanding of the famine induced mortalities of children in Ireland during the Famine will be given.

Publications (*=Peer Reviewed)

Journal articles

Geber, J. 2003. Fragment och tolkning: En osteologisk studie av kremationer från förromersk järnålder på Seltorp 1:1, Vist socken, Benbiten 16, 4–5.

Geber, J. 2003. En allvarlig knäfraktur hos en man under tidig medeltid på Irland, Benbiten 17, 11–2.

Geber, J. 2006. Appendix 2. Summary Report on Osteological Analysis of Burnt Bones from Knockhouse Lower (03E1879), In:  McQuade, M., Archaeological excavations of Pre-historic Settlement Sites at Knockhouse Lower and Carrishpherish Co. Waterford, Decies 62, 40.

Geber, J. 2007. An early medieval population in Swords, Co. Dublin, Paleopathology Association Irish Section News 10, 3–6.

Geber, J., 2008. Cremated human remains, In:  Poole, C. & Webley, L., Prehistoric activity at Westwood, Broadstairs, Archæologia Cantiana 128, 97–8.

Geber, J. & Loe, L. 2009. Human remains, In: Powell, K., Laws, G. & Brown, L., A late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age enclosure and Iron Age and Romano-British settlement at Latton Lands, Wiltshire, Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine 102, 92–7.

Geber, J. 2011. Osteoarchaeological and archaeological insights into the deaths and intramural mass burials at the Kilkenny Union Workhouse between 1847–51 during the Great Famine, Old Kilkenny Review 63, 64–75.

* Geber, J. & Murphy, E. 2012. Scurvy in the Great Irish Famine: Evidence of Vitamin C deficiency from a mid-19th century skeletal population, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148, 512–24.

* Geber, J. 2012. Comparative study of perimortem weapon trauma in two early medieval populations (AD 400–1200) from Ireland, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, DOI: 10.1002/oa.2281

* Beaumont, J., Geber, J., Powers, N., Wilson, A., Lee-Thorp, J. & Montgomery, J. 2013. Victims and survivors: Stable isotopes used to identify migrants from the Great Irish Famine to 19th century London, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150, 87–98.

Holt, R., Geber, J., McSloy, E.R. 2013. Excavation of a multi-period site at Barnes Coaches Depot, Aldbourne, Wiltshire, Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine 106, 89–100.

Book chapters/sections

Geber, J. 2007. The human remains, In: Timby, J., Brown, R., Hardy, A., Leech, S., Poole, C. & Webley, L. Settlement on the Bedfordshire Claylands. Archaeology along the Great Barford Bypass, pp. 303–28. Bedfordshire Archaeology Monograph 8. Oxford: Oxford Archaeology.

Loe, L., Márquez-Grant, N. & Geber, J. 2008. Discussion on the unburnt human remains, In: Simmons, A., Márquez-Grant, N. & Loe, L., Life and death in a Roman city. Excavations of a Roman cemetery with a mass grave at 120–122 London Road, Gloucester, pp. 67–72. Oxford Archaeology Monograph 6. Oxford: Oxford Archaeology.

Geber, J. 2008. Appendix IV. Osteological report on the animal bones, In: Baker, C., Excavations within the manor of Merrion Castle, Medieval Dublin VIII (Duffy, S. ed.), pp. 265–72. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

O’Donovan, E. & Geber, J. 2009. Archaeological excavations on Mount Gamble Hill: Stories from the first Christians in Swords, In: Baker, C. (ed.), Axes, warriors and windmills. Recent archaeological discoveries in North Fingal, pp. 64–74. Dublin: Fingal County Council.

Geber, J. 2009. Human skeletal remains, In: Baker, C., The archaeology of Killeen Castle, Co. Meath, pp. 129–30. Dublin: Wordwell.

Geber, J. 2009. The faunal remains, In: Baker, C., The archaeology of Killeen Castle, Co. Meath, pp. 131–56. Dublin: Wordwell.

Geber, J. 2009. The human remains, In: McQuade, M., Archaeological excavations on the site of Meakstown Castle, Finglas, Medieval Dublin IX (Duffy, S. ed.), pp. 122. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Geber, J. 2009. The faunal remains from medieval levels, In: McQuade, M., Archaeological excavations on the site of Meakstown Castle, Finglas, Medieval Dublin IX (Duffy, S. ed.), pp. 122–4. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Geber, J. 2009. The human remains, In: McQuade, M., Molloy, B. & Moriarty, C., In the shadow of the Galtees. Archaeological excavations along the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown Road Scheme, pp. 209–40. NRA Scheme Monographs 4. Dublin: The National Roads Authority.

Geber, J. 2009. The animal bones, In: McQuade, M., Molloy, B. & Moriarty, C., In the shadow of the Galtees. Archaeological excavations along the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown Road Scheme, pp. 276–86. NRA Scheme Monographs 4. Dublin: The National Roads Authority.

O’Donovan, E. & Geber, J. 2010. Excavations on Mount Gamble Hill, Swords, Co. Dublin, In: Corlett, C. & Potterton, M. (eds.), Death and Burial in Early Medieval Ireland in the light of recent excavations, pp. 227–38. Research Papers in Irish Archaeology 2. Dublin: Wordwell.

Geber, J. 2011. Human remains from Owenbristy, In: Delaney, F. & Tierney, J. In the lowlands of South Galway. Archaeological excavations on the N18 Oranmore to Gort national road scheme, pp. 88–97. NRA Scheme Monograph 7. Dublin: The National Roads Authority.

Geber, J. 2012. Burying the Famine dead: Kilkenny Union Workhouse, In: Crowley, J. & Smyth, W.J. (eds.), Atlas of the Great Irish Famine 1845-52, pp. 341–8. Cork: University College Cork.

Geber, J. 2012. (various contributions), In: Delaney, S., Bayley, D., Lyne, E., McNamara, D., Nunan, J. & Molloy, K., Borderlands: Archaeological investigations on the route of the M18 Gort to Crusheen road scheme, (3 pages). NRA Scheme Monograph 9. Dublin: The National Roads Authority.

Geber, J. 2012. The faunal remains, In: O’Donovan, E., Early Christian and medieval excavations at Teach Naithí: The changing morphology of a church site in Dundrum, County Dublin, Medieval Dublin XII (Duffy, S. ed.), pp. 82–6. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Geber, J. 2013. Painful ailments, trauma and violent deaths at Owenbristy, Co. Galway: Physical pain interpreted from human skeletal remains, In: Kelly, B., Raycroft, N. & Stanley, E. (eds.), Futures and pasts: Proceedings of a public seminar on archaeological discoveries on national road schemes, August 2012, pp. 51–61. Dublin: National Roads Authority.

 

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