Dr Brenna Hassett

  • Human Origins - PDRA - Calleva
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Vertebrates and Anthropology Palaeobiology
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Research Interests

My research interests focus on understanding childhood health, growth, and development. I also have a strong interest in developing new methodological approaches to identifying evidence for childhood health and development from dental remains. My current research follows this methodological theme, using a variety of analytical techniques to interpret childhood life experiences. More broadly, I am interested in using dental anthropology to understand potential markers of different social, economic, and environmental experiences during childhood. Two major foci for my work are looking at the archaeological evidence for childhood health during the transition to agriculture and sedentism in the Neolithic of South West Asia, and the transition industrialisation and urbanism in the Early Modern period in London.

I have worked on a wide variety of material from sites ranging from the Upper Palaeolithic to the 18th century AD, and from a variety of locations including Egypt, England, Greece, Thailand, and Turkey.

Current Research

I am currently working on the Tooth Fairy Project, funded through the Calleva Foundation.

Other Tooth Fairy Project Staff

Louise Humphrey, Natural History Museum London and Christopher Dean, University College London


Hassett, B. (in press). Enamel hypoplasia in post-medieval London: A reassessment of evidence of childhood health. BABAO 2011 Conference Proceedings.

Hassett, B. 2012. Evaluating sources of variation in the identification of linear hypoplastic defects of enamel: a new quantified method. Journal of Archaeological Science 39:560-565. Manuscript version (pdf).  Full article (link only)

Hassett, B. 2011a. Changing World, Changing Lives: Child Health and Enamel Hypoplasia in Post Medieval London. London: University College London. Ph D Thesis.

Hassett, B. 2011b. Sexual dimorphism of the canine in a post-medieval London sample: A test of alternate dental measurements. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146(3):486-489. Manuscript Version (pdf). Full Article (link only).

Hassett, B., Hillson S, and Antoine D. 2010. Comparing macroscopic, microscopic, and metric methods of assessing enamel hypoplasia: an alternative approach using a metric assessment of perikymata spacing. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 141, S 50:89. 

Hassett, B., and Hillson S. 2009. Sex and sample: classification analysis using cervical canine metrics. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 138(S48):146.  

Hassett, B.. 2006. Mandibular Torus: etiology and bioarchaeological utility. Dental Anthropology 19(1):1-9. Full Article (pdf)