skip to primary navigationskip to content

The Material Culture Research Hub


The Material Culture Research Hub (previously known as the Material Culture Laboratory) is an open and dynamic group of researchers exploring all aspects of material culture archaeology at Cambridge. Members of the group actively involve material culture theory with their analysis of all aspects of material culture - tangible and intangible - specifically the relationship between people, society and things. Membership in the hub is open to all interested in material culture and  includes postgraduate students, post-doctoral researchers and research staff.  Members have also included those from Classics, University Museums and Social Anthropology.  Current research conducted in the lab spans from Palaeolithic art to modern heritage and identity construction and everything in between.  Among many other places, members work in Argentina, India, the Mediterranean,  Malta, Turkey, Scandinavia, Egypt and Britain. Our ethos of bridging the theoretical and material opens up the door to thinking about what constitutes material culture and how we, as social scientists and archaeologists, think about it. 

The most important aspect of the Material Culture Research Hub is the encouragement of dialogue and thought.  The hub hosts a range of events including a Thinking about Things (TAT) reading group, lunchtime member presentations to help develop ideas, workshop days with other disciplines and a guest lecture series bringing in archaeologists and social theorists from around the world.  The hub also sponsors the occasional conference.  All of our events are open to the wider archaeology and academic research community!  A list of past speakers and events can be found here. 

Membership in the hub is not exclusive, but it does require an individual to be willing to participate in events and present, on occasion, at one of our lunchtime meetings.  Being a member means you can have access to the desk space (if available) and equipment for research purposes.  If you would like more information regarding membership, its privileges and responsibilities, please check here.

The Material Culture Research Hub is always outward looking - we want to engage with others interested in material culture and discuss similarities - and differences - in how we interpret the relationship between things and people.  Our current events for 2019-2020 can be found here and we are always listening to our members for great ideas about speakers, TAT themes and conference ideas.