Megan Wong

PhD Candidate, Michael Richards

Areas of interest

Isotope Archaeology, Diet, Mobility, Roman populations, Byzantine Populations, Turkey.


  • MA: University of British Columbia, Department of Anthropology, 2014
  • BA: Simon Fraser University, Department of Archaeology, 2010

PhD Research

My PhD research aims to investigate the diet and mobility of Roman and Byzantine populations at monumental sites in southwestern Turkey. The Roman and Byzantine periods in Turkey (ca. 133 BC – ca. 1453AD) are characterized by substantial societal change, including the end of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity. In southwestern Turkey, two World Heritage sites, Hierapolis and Ephesos were major centres during both of these periods. Specifically, I will use stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of human bone and tooth samples from associated cemeteries to examine temporal change or continuity in the life histories of people buried at these sites, and to explore variations in diet due to differences in both sex and social status. Then I will undertake isotopic analysis of strontium values to identify non-local individuals who, in the later period, may have been pilgrims.

MA Thesis

A Dietary Isotopic Study at Nukuleka, Tonga


Wong, M., Grimes, V., Steskal, M., Song, J., Ng, J., Jaouen, K., Lam, V.C. and Richards, M.,    2021 A bioavailable baseline strontium isotope map of southwestern Turkey for mobility studies. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports37, p.102922.

Wong, M., Brandt, J. R., Ahrens, S., Jaouen, K., Bjørnstad, G., Nauman E., Wenn, C.C., Laforest, C., Hagelberg E., Lam, V. C. and Richards, M.    2018 Pursuing pilgrims: Isotopic investigations of Roman and Byzantine mobility at Hierapolis, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports17, 520-528.

Wong, Megan, Elise Nauman, Klervia Jaouen, and Michael Richards.    2017  Isotopic investigations of human diet and mobility at the site of Hierapolis, Turkey.  In Life and death in Asia Minor in Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine times. Studies in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology, edited by J.R Brandt, Hagelberg E., Bjornstad G, and S. Ahrens, pp. 228–236. Oxbow Books, Oxford.

Bortheim, K., Cappelletto E., Hill D., Kiesewetter H., Russ H., Selsvold I., Cecili Wenn C., Wong M.    2013 Hierapolis 2013: Revisiting old finds and procuring some new ones. Nicolay 123: 78-85.

Conference Presentations  

2017 (Wong. M.) Characterizing Mobility in Times of Transition: An Investigation of Roman and Byzantine Populations at Hierapolis, Turkey . UK Archaeological Sciences Conference. University College London, London.

2017 (Wong, M., Richards, M., Steskal M.) Isotopic Investigations at Ephesos: Tracing Diet and Mobility patterns in Roman and Byzantine Populations. Humans, Animals and Plants: Bioarchaeology in the 21st Century. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

2017 (Wong, M.) Diet and Mobility in Roman and Byzantine Turkey. Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting. Vancouver, B.C.

2016 (Wong. M.) Pursuing Pilgrims: Isotopic Investigations of Roman and Byzantine Mobility at Hierapolis, Turkey. Simon Fraser University Faculty of Environment Seasonal Gathering. Burnaby, BC.

2013 (Wong. M., Burley D., Richards M.) Prehistoric Tongan diet and stable isotopes: An evaluation of subsistence hypotheses. Society for American Archaeology 78th Annual Meeting, Honolulu, United States of America.

House tomb excavation at Hierapolis, Turkey 2013.
Collecting strontium samples near Ankara, Turkey 2013.
Field work at Ephesos, Turkey 2016.