Quality of Research
Cardiff School of History & Archaeology
Research Assessment Exercise (2008)
|Unit of Assessment||Staff submitted (FTE)||By percentage, research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard|
(Overall quality profile in blocks of 5%)
Research Profile: Archaeology
The Archaeology of Britain is a particular strength of the School. Digs include the remains of Roman fortifications in Caerleon and elsewhere in South Wales. Archaeologists are also active much further afield. A Viking settlement has been excavated at Bornais in the Outer Hebrides. Major excavations have begun at Praisos in eastern Crete, the first excavation at a classical Greek city by a British team in more than a generation. The School has excavated the earliest known glassworks in Egypt and recreated a working kiln to demonstrate how the ancient Egyptians would have produced their glass.
The principal areas of archaeological research are Britain, Europe, Greece and the eastern Mediterranean including the Levant and Egypt, stretching from the Neolithic era to the end of the Middle Ages.
Research advances at the School also help with major conservation projects. The SS Great Britain Trust sponsored a laboratory modelling programme to determine the effect of relative humidity on corrosion of chloride-infested iron. The results of this programme were the basis for the internationally- acclaimed and innovative conservation design for the storage of the SS Great Britain hull, which won the prestigious 2006 Gulbenkian Museum Prize.
The School also benefits from the Cardiff Osteoarchaeology Research Group laboratory which studies animal remains from archaeological sites in order to reconstruct human-animal relations in the past. The laboratory houses an ever-expanding skeletal reference collection of mammals, birds, herpetofauna and fish, as well as a substantial collection of terrestrial and marine molluscs. Research in this field includes milk production strategies, red deer in British prehistory, Neolithic cattle, hunting and whaling.