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Department of Archaeology

 

The Duckworth Laboratory, responsible for the curation and study of the Duckworth Collections, houses one of the world's largest repositories of human remains, numbering approximately 18,000 individuals. These range from blood samples, to hair bundles, single bones, complete skeletons, mummies, and decorated skulls, and are widely used for scientific research. The collections also include the skeletal remains of many non-human primate species, casts of fossil hominins and other primates, as well as other examples of human physical variation, such as collections of hairs.

The Duckworth Collection and Laboratory is the result of 200 years of anthropological and biological research into evolution of the human species at Cambridge, with contributions by archaeologists, anthropologists, anatomists and egyptologists. The collections and research facilities are now housed at the Henry Wellcome Building and sit at the heart of its Biological Anthropology research hub. 

With new scientific techniques developed - extracting DNA from bone, usinging 3D imaging to record anatomical variation and study biomechanics, or infering the diet of people in the past from the study of isotopes in their teeth - the Duckworth continues to play a central role in each new phase of research into the biology and behaviour of humans.

Access and Application Procedure

Following University Guidelines for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and National Standards from the UK Government, we are currently closed and not taking bookings for access. We are monitoring University protocol and will re-assess our plans for opening in the next Academic Year. We will post re-opening information here when plans change and will not respond to emails asking about re-opening dates.

Researchers applying to access the Duckworth Laboratory collection for study are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Duckworth, ethical guidelines set by the Department of Archaeology and payment of bench fees. Students require a letter of endorsement from their supervisor.  The Director of the Duckworth Laboratory, will consider the nature of the proposed research taking into account the current and proposed work of members of the Department of Archaeology, and in the context of the overall research strategy for the Duckworth.

Application documents can be downloaded from the Duckworth web pages.

Further conditions apply to requests for destructive sampling.

For further information please contact the Laboratory on duckworth@human-evol.cam.ac.uk and check the notices section below. 

Notices

Following University Guidelines for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and National Standards from the UK Government, we are currently closed and not taking bookings for access. We are monitoring University protocol and will re-assess our plans for opening in the next Academic Year. We will post re-opening information here when plans change and will not respond to emails asking about re-opening dates.

Contact Us

The Duckworth Laboratory
The Henry Wellcome Building
University of Cambridge
Fitzwilliam Street
Cambridge CB2 1QH

Contact: duckworth@human-evol.cam.ac.uk