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It is with enormous sadness that we share the news that one of our alumni has recently died in exceptionally unexpected and tragic circumstances.

Christina Goessman completed a BSc in Archaeology with us from 2014-2017 and then graduated from the MSc in Palaeopathology in 2018. Christina passed away very peacefully on Sunday 25th April at the hospital in Philadelphia after having suffered the rupture of a massive brain aneurysm. Her parents and her younger sister, Julia, were by her side the entire time she was there. It was a sudden incident that caused too much damage for Christina to survive.

Christina is remembered in our Department as a fiercely intelligent young woman, with an exceptionally promising future in medicine. She achieved a first class undergraduate degree, followed by a distinction in her MSc. Staff in the Department recollected how wonderful it was to watch her develop as a scholar whilst she was studying with us. We share here a statement from Christina’s parents which recognises how happy and fulfilling her time was with us at Durham. Please join us in remembering and commemorating a remarkable young woman with energy, determination and ambition who was at the heart of our community.

“Christina’s life, although short, was a happy one, and that she experienced and achieved so much in the 24 years that we got to spend with her. Christina spent the last two years in Philadelphia in the post-bac premed program at the University of Pennsylvania to take the science courses required for medical school. She was just finishing the program and was getting ready to take the MCAT this month to start the medical school application process.
She loved Philadelphia, her tiny studio flat in a leafy historical part of the city, and has made some wonderful friends, all beautifully documented in her photography. Durham, however, and especially the archaeology department, forever held a very special place in Christina's heart. She was truly fascinated by the field, and would often alert us to new discoveries or interesting developments. She had hoped to weave paleopathology into her medical practice eventually. Christina always felt well supported by her colleagues, and enjoyed the camaraderie of the “trench wenches” on archaeological digs.”

There will be a memorial service in her home town near Seattle in September, in hopes that the Covid situation will have improved by then to make it possible for Christina's friends and family from Europe to attend.

If you wish to post comments and photographs to commemorate Christina then please log in to this site. We would like to share these with her family, so please identify yourself in your comments. Let’s remember our wonderful colleague with words and thoughts that celebrate her contribution to our lives.