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Archaeology and Conservation

We are skilled at solving archaeological problems in creative and innovative ways to further understanding of the human past and archaeological materials thereby shaping the way we live today.  

We also provide professional heritage services to outside contractors and influence government policy towards the Historic Environment.

Our research ranges from social archaeology to conservation science with projects investigating Neolithic occupations in the Balkans; the dietary importance of marine resources in Britain; the hillforts of Western Britain; human-animal relationships in Europe and Egypt; the Roman occupation of Wales; and the preservation of heritage iron.

We collaborate with colleagues around the world and undertake fieldwork in the UK, continental Europe, the Mediterranean and the Near East. Our research is underpinned by excellent technical support with facilities including a dedicated graphics and photographic studio, bioarchaeology and conservation science laboratories, and geophysical, surveying and analytical equipment.

We attract research funding from a range of organisations including the AHRC, NERC, Cadw, the Egypt Exploration Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, English Heritage, Historic Scotland and the Museum of London. A recent project providing precise chronologies for the Neolithic in Europe has been awarded a £2.1M ERC Advanced Investigator grant.

Research themes

  • Chronologies
    Refining the scientific basis for archaeological chronologies.
  • The built environment
    Understanding domestic architecture and the social significance of monumentality.
  • Human and animal lifeways
    Using bones and isotopic analysis to provide insights into the social and physical aspects of individuals, animals and food.
  • Materials research (conservation, technology and agency)
    Advancing the understanding and application of heritage and material science, and the analysis and conservation of archaeological materials.
  • Fieldwork and data collection
    Pioneering techniques for data collection and analysis that contribute to the development of the discipline.

Research impact

We are consistently in demand to provide services, inform practice, excite interest and influence understanding of the historic environment and we are committed to bringing the results of our research to a wider audience through new discoveries, popular writing, interactive experiences and media performances.

Protected hull of ss Great Britain

Saving heritage ironwork from the ravages of rust

Studying effective corrosion cures to help our museums preserve ironwork for posterity.