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Department of Archaeology


Cambridge is home to world-leading researchers across archaeological science, technical art history and heritage science, based at Department of Archaeology, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the Hamilton Kerr Institute, among others. There are multiple synergies across these institutions in terms of research methodologies, goals and ambitions in the field of technical and scientific investigation of works of art and archaeological objects. We have therefore developed a connected research community for Archaeological and Heritage Science in Cambridge, which takes full advantage of our collective strengths. 

Building on multiple joint projects already underway, the Cambridge Heritage Science Hub (CHERISH) Initiative supports the development of partnerships and collaborative projects across a large number of institutions, including not only the three mentioned so far, but also Cambridge University Library (CUL), the other University of Cambridge Museums (UCMs) and the Department of History of Art (HoA).   

At the core of this initiative is our conviction that scientific approaches are key to the characterisation, preservation, understanding and dissemination of heritage but also that these studies should be grounded in the broader intellectual frameworks of the arts and humanities, in order to maximise benefits to communities, economies and the environment. We promote a critical approach to archaeological and heritage science that is both robust in its scientific foundations and humanistic in its engagement with artefacts, people and their multifaceted cultural and natural contexts. 

The project will is led by Marcos Martinón-Torres, Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science at the Department of Archaeology, and Paola Ricciardi, Senior Research Scientist at the Fitzwilliam Museum, with Professor.  The CHERISH Initiative has received seed funding from the University’s Research and Collections Programme. It has also been awarded £3m from the AHRC’s Capability for Collections (CapCo) Fund.

Team Members

Marcos Martinon-Torres

Paola Ricciardi



Project Tags

Science, Technology and Innovation
Material Culture
Periods of interest: 
Classical - Roman
Copper/Bronze Age
Iron Age
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory
Geographical areas: 
Central Asia
East Asia
Egypt and Sudan
Oceania and the Pacific
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Museum Studies
Material Culture
Biomolecular Archaeology
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Art and Iconography
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Cultural Heritage
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