Dr Cat Jarman

Dr Cat Jarman

Author and Broadcaster

Dr Cat Jarman is a bioarchaeologist and field archaeologist specialising in the Viking Age, Viking women, and Rapa Nui.  She uses forensic techniques like isotope analysis, carbon dating, and DNA analysis on human remains to untangle the experiences of past people from broader historical narratives.

Her book “River Kings”, about connections between Vikings in the west and the Silk Roads, will be published by HarperCollins in 2020.

Dr Jarman is an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Bristol and the director of the archaeological research unit Munin Archaeology.

She completed her PhD in Archaeology at the University of Bristol in December 2017, on the late 9th century Viking Great Army at Repton in Derbyshire. Her thesis research combined complex bioarchaeological and forensic analyses of Viking Age burials, including a mass grave of almost 300 individuals, alongside new excavations of the Viking winter camp and Early Medieval Monastery. This research formed the basis of the 2019 documentary “Britain’s Viking Graveyard” (Channel 4) / “The Lost Viking Army” (PBS/Nova).

Dr Jarman has also researched and published on the diet, resource use, and origins of the ancient populations of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). She now directs ongoing excavations at the Anglo-Saxon and Viking site of Repton and a newly discovered Viking winter camp at nearby Foremark. She also directs excavations of a Viking Age Rus fortified settlement at Vypovzyv in Ukraine.

She is an experienced public speaker and communicator, recently speaking at TEDxBath on the topic of archaeology, migration, and forensics. She frequently shares her expertise in the media (recent examples include New Scientist, New York Times, and BBC radio) and on podcasts (e.g. HistoryHit with Dan Snow) and her research has been covered by print and online news outlets internationally.

Dr Jarman has contributed to numerous TV documentaries as both an on-screen expert and historical consultant, including programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, History, Discovery, and more.

Currently, she is a senior adviser on academic content development for the new museum of the Viking Age at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. She is also a research fellow at the Cultural Heritage Institute, Royal Agricultural University. In addition, Cat was recently elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.


Dr Cat Jarman @@CatJarman

This was such an epic road trip with @thehistoryguy, tracking down the Great Army. Discount on a History Hit subscription today! 👇🏻

I totally missed this last week, but thank you so much @DalrympleWill for choosing #RiverKings as one of your Books of the Year in the @spectator!

Goals for my next dig 😬

Lovely day out at the office / Hogwarts today (actually @RoyalAgUni). Very happy to be an Honorary Fellow at their new Cultural Heritage Institute!

There's only one term you need to know today and that's HUNKYPUNK. It's a West Country word for these amazing grotesques on churches, largely dating to the 15th and 16th centuries. Thanks, @natchjourneyman!

FB just reminded me that exactly six years ago, we started our first geophys survey in Repton… The first fieldwork there in more than 30 years. This led to 4 years of amazing excavations & coincidentally, it was also for my first TV show!

@CatJarman Just had my Roman steelyard weight returned after being recorded, it is a well organised scheme that helps us share our finds on a national data base for all to access, The FLO’s do a wonderful job.👍

Love the text suggestions in Gmail, especially when it autosuggests "Dear Human" to start messages to HR.

In honour of this episode.... what are your favourite medieval / early medieval objects on the PAS database?? https://finds.org.uk/

🎧In today's #GoneMedieval, I went to the British Museum to talk to @Tostig1066 - Head of Treasure and of Portable Antiquities - about the concept of Treasure in England and what artefacts found by detectorists can tell us about the medieval world:


“Despite her remarkable political career, her best-known legacy is no doubt her Norman link to William the Conqueror, enabling the events of 1066 to run their course” | @CatJarman profiles Queen Emma of Normandy

🤩 This. Finally made it into the new @ToppingsBath bookshop this evening and it is absolutely stunning. Well done to the team!!
If you’re in Bath, you HAVE to go.

It was lovely to hear so many people say there should be a follow up to #AncientAlthorp, and I’m pleased to share we have several exciting plans in progress! 😉⛏

Still clinging on in @thetimes chart! Congrats @cspencer1508 for overtaking me this week.

Good thing The White Ship is a brilliant book and that I’m not in any way competitive, otherwise I might have been a bit annoyed/jealous. 🙄

Right - I have picked a winner! (Using a random number generator, lots of counting, and some swearing when I lost track).

Congratulations @WestMaz - the book is yours!

My article on the everyday logistics of viking encampment is published today (🔓)! It explores how these camps would have relied on highly complex and adaptive systems of planning, organisation, and resource management for their survival and success🏕️⛵️


I'm currently working on my next book, which will be set closer to home.... It will feature some brilliant characters, including Emma of Normandy, so I was deligthed to write this little intro about her for @HistoryExtra!

Here we go everyone: The video of the 'Are genes deep history?' panel discussion with Jo Brück @littlegaudy @Boothicus @AdamRutherford @ChrisStringer65 + chaired by @pittsmike


#BeingHuman2021 #GenesDeepHistory
w/ @PathwaysAB @EngageQM @BeingHumanFest

@CatJarman As a kid here in the US, Sutton Hoo was one of my first archaeological fascinations. How awesome to be able to now contribute to furthering the research on this amazing find. Thanks @CatJarman for the great @HistoryHit episode and the info on how to support the @SaxonShipCo.

Really delighted to be speaking at @JaipurLitFest next year -- taking my River Kings story back to its origins in India! Thanks for the invitation @DalrympleWill and what brilliant company too! 🤩