Dr Susanne Hakenbeck


College position:

University Lecturer in Archaeology

Susan Hakenbeck
Susan Hakenbeck

I am interested in the social transformations during the centuries before and after the end of the Roman Empire, in particular along its north-eastern edges. In my research, I integrate theoretical enquiry and what might be called ‘anthropological’ approaches in archaeology with archaeological science, principally isotope analysis.

I have pursued a variety of different questions: Is it possible to identify ethnic identity in burial practices? What can artificially modified skulls tell us about marriage practices and childcare in the fifth and sixth centuries AD? How did the settled agricultural population of late Roman Pannonia interact with incoming nomadic pastoralists in the fifth century?

Currently, I am writing a monograph on the environmental and social role of the Danube in the formation of new polities in central Europe, following the decline of the Roman Empire.

Subject areas


Research Interests

Late antiquity and the early medieval period; frontiers; migration; human-environment interactions; pastoral economies

Teaching And Professional Interests

I enjoy engaging students in a rich variety of source materials, from texts to archaeological science, and I combine my formal teaching wherever possible with hands-on experience of museum collections and field trips. I am always happy to receive enquiries from potential graduate students.

Dr Hakenbeck is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

Links to online publications, articles or other work

Hakenbeck, S., 2018. Infant head shaping in the first millennium AD, in: Crawford, S., Hadley, D.M., Shepherd, G. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook for the Archaeology of Childhood, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 483-504.

Hakenbeck, S.E., Evans, J., Chapman, H., Fóthi, E., 2017. Practising pastoralism in an agricultural environment: An isotopic analysis of the impact of the Hunnic incursions on Pannonian populations, PLOS ONE 12, e0173079.

Hakenbeck, S.E., 2013. Potential and limitations of isotope analysis in early medieval archaeology, Postclassical Archaeologies 3, 109-125.

Hakenbeck, S.E., 2011. Local, Regional and Ethnic Identities in Early Medieval Cemeteries in Bavaria, All' Insegna del Giglio Firenze.

Hakenbeck, S.E., 2011. Roman or barbarian? Shifting identities in early medieval cemeteries in Bavaria, Postclassical Archaeologies 1, 37-66.

Hakenbeck, S.E., McManus, E., Geisler, H., Grupe, G., O'Connell, T.C., 2010. Diet and mobility in Early Medieval Bavaria: a study of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 143, 235–249.