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Department of Archaeology

Following the pandemic, the Duckworth Laboratory remains closed until the next academic year (October 2022). We will be accepting applications from the 1st of September 2022. We will post further re-opening information here and are unable to respond to emails asking about re-opening dates.

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.

Contact Us

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