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Department of Archaeology


The Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU)  


Founded by Christopher Evans and Prof. Ian Hodder in 1990, the CAU was established with the explicit aim of bridging the research- and development-led sectors of British archaeology. As a result, the Unit counts many of the country’s leading heritage professionals and university lecturers amongst its past-staff alumni, and is considered by many to be the premier research-oriented archaeological unit in the country 

The CAU’s pioneering landscape-sampling techniques have proven successful on motorway, new town, quarry and inner-city development sites. They have provided both a highly efficient practice, complementary to the needs of industry, and unparalleled academic results. Aside from its acknowledged expertise in wetland and urban archaeology, a number of the Unit’s long-term quarry projects have now run over decades and amount to major landscape studies in their own right. 

Ranging from desktop studies to pre-planning permission evaluation trial work and full excavations (and their publication), the Unit’s 50–70 staff  – including in-house finds-study and palaeo-environmental specialists –undertake some 40–60 projects per annum. While the vast majority of these derive from the private sector, the Unit also undertakes public-/research-funded fieldwork projects. Ranging from publishing Mucking’s vast excavation archives to various community-/schools-outreach initiatives, most notably at the moment is Must Farm, Whittlesey – its internationally acclaimed ‘Pompeii of the Fens’ site – and the Unit has just conducted an archaeological survey of the South Georgia Islands.

The CAU runs the Department of Archaeology’s annual undergraduate training excavation. It also provides additional training and employment opportunities for students from both Archaeology and the Faculty of Classics, and students regularly access CAU staff and materials to further their research. The Unit regularly offers training opportunities for graduates from other Universities and, in recent years, has run the training excavations for the University of Cardiff and Birkbeck College. 


Key CAU Staff

Director of Research
Christopher Evans

Emma Beadsmoore
David Gibson
Ricky Patten

Head of Administration
Samantha Smith

Project Officers
Dr Oscar Aldred
Dr Marcus Brittain
Craig Cessford
Matthew Collins
Mark Knight
Elizabeth Middleton
Jonathan Tabor
Alasdair Wright

Section Heads
Dr Emily Banfield (Finds)
Andrew Hall (Graphics)
Jane Matthews (Survey)
Vida Rajkovača (Specialist Coordinator)

Dr Eduardo Machicado Murillo (Geoarchaeology)
Benjamin Neil (Osteoarchaeology)
Sarah Percival (Prehistoric Ceramics)
Vida Rajkovača (Zooarchaeology)
Iona Robinson Zeki (Wood Specialist)
David Webb (Photography)

Hannah Barratt
Christopher Boulton (Environmental)
Thomas Bourne
Emma Rees (Finds)

Dr Sam Lucy
Iona Robinson Zeki
Dr Robert Wiseman

Contact Us

Cambridge Archaeological Unit
Department of Archaeology
34 A & B Storey's Way
Cambridge CB3 0DT

Tel: +44 1223 327802