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Department of Archaeology


About the Department

The Department of Archaeology at Cambridge is one of the oldest in the world and also one of the youngest, largest and most vibrant in its current expanded form. It brings together an extraordinary community of people committed to advancing and transforming our understanding of the past through innovative research and teaching. We aim to convey that knowledge to society today, in ways that will change ideas, contribute to vital wider conversations and help to navigate a wiser, more sustainable future. Our core comprises some 30 long-term academic staff, 30-40 rising post-doctoral researchers, and more than 15 administrative and technical staff. We are extremely proud of, and committed to, our diverse student body, from undergraduates to Masters and PhD students, which over the years has included many of the best in our field, as well as people who have excelled and made major contributions in countless other spheres.

We engage with the archaeology of most regions of the world, from the fens of East Anglia to Antarctica, including Eurasia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania, as well as most periods of the past. We have an enduring reputation for radical, thought-provoking approaches to the analysis and interpretation of people as cultural and biological beings. In addition, we have expanded to include world-class expertise is several other distinct fields. Through recent appointments we have grown our strength in next-generation archaeological (including material) science and computational analysis, supported by an extensive suite of well-equipped laboratories. We are the home for Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian studies at Cambridge, and integrate teaching and research on their archaeology and ancient languages (through original texts) to an exceptional degree. We have an established and now rapidly growing strength in the crucial field of Biological Anthropology and human evolutionary studies, with research ranging from fossil hominins to the behaviour, culture and phenotype of living populations. Last but not least, we have built upon our foundational role in the intellectual shaping of heritage studies by hosting the new Cambridge Heritage Research Centre.

The Department includes several additional individually renowned institutions. The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research is an engine for new thinking, the hub for all postdoctoral researchers in archaeology and adjacent fields at Cambridge, and a centre for attracting large-scale external research funding. The Cambridge Archaeological Unit has had an immense influence on field archaeology nationally and internationally. The Duckworth Collection contains one of the largest collections of human remains in the UK. We collaborate closely with colleagues in the nearby Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, as well as many others across the arts, humanities and sciences (including several archaeologists in the Faculty of Classics and the Institute for Continuing Education).

Stimulating collaborations, exciting conversations, cutting-edge debate and a friendly, informal atmosphere for teaching and research are enriched by our physical congregation around the beautiful Downing St and Fitzwilliam St sites. From that centre extends a global network of colleagues through which Cambridge seeks to advance our fields for the benefit of all.


Contact Us

Department of Archaeology
University of Cambridge
Downing Street
Cambridge CB2 3DZ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333538

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