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Archaeology is a subject that spans the entirety of the human past all across the globe.  Oxford’s School of Archaeology is one of the few departments in the world where so many diverse aspects of archaeological teaching and research are brought together to address critical questions about our past.  We offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and have research projects on all the inhabited continents. As a result, we have the depth and breadth of expertise to help students tackle complex issues ranging from human origins and early hunter-gatherers, to the ancient environment, classical and historical archaeology, and chronology.  We are also particularly fortunate that the legacies of eminent archaeologists who have called Oxford home, including Sir Arthur Evans and Lawrence of Arabia, continue to provide inspiration to both students and staff.

News and Announcements


Professor Julia Lee-Thorp and Dr Scott Blumenthal of RLAHA, have been awarded a NERC grant for their research into the role of intra-annual variability in the evolution of hominin diet in East Africa.

Professor Julia Lee-Thorp and Dr Scott Blumenthal of RLAHA, School of Archaeology, Oxford have been awarded a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant for their project -  A diet for all seasons: the role of intra-annual variability in the evolution of hominin diet in East Africa.

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Out in Oxford. An LGBTQ+ Trail of the University of Oxford's Collections

Victoria Sainsbury, DPhil Archaeological Science, School of Archaeology, speaks to the BBC about her involvement in co-curating the LGBTQ+ Trail of the University of Oxford's Collections for Out in Oxford. 


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AHRC-funded 3-year studentship - Chinese Archaeology

We are happy to announce an AHRC-funded 3-year studentship available for DPhil studies at Oxford in Chinese Archaeology working on material from the British Museum.

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The A303 is part of the Stonehenge setting, don't bury it!

Stonehenge has a traffic problem. But building a £1.4bn tunnel is not the answer or in the interests of cultural heritage, argues Dan Hicks

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Archive reveals new finds associated with the handwritten dissertation of refugee scholar and classical archaeologist Paul Jacobsthal

Francesca Anthony (Mst in Classical Archaeology) blogs about her recent stint volunteering in the Institute Archives to sort the 1908 dissertation of the classical archaeologist and refugee scholar Paul Jacobsthal. Jacobsthal came to Oxford in the mid 1930s after the Nazi regime legislated to bar Jewish people from public offices, which included university professorships. He is well known for his comprehensive work Early Celtic Art, one of only four books published by Oxford University Press in 1944.


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The 4th Workshop of Biological Anthropologists

The School of Archaeology, in association with the Advanced Core Research Centre for History of Human Ecology in the North (Hokaidai, Japan), will host a one-day conference on bioarchaeology this Friday 13th January (10am-6pm) at the Institute of Archaeology on Beaumont Street. See the programme below. 

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EAMENA project awarded £1.6 million, as a Cultural Protection Fund project

Archaeologists, led by the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology, are to fly out to three bases in the Middle East and North Africa to train local professionals on how to identify and assess threats to cultural heritage sites, using aerial and satellite images. The British Council in partnership with the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has awarded £1.6 million, as a Cultural Protection Fund project, to create a team from Oxford, Leicester and Durham Universities to work in the region training local archaeologists to protect archaeological sites. 

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A make-over for the Institute archives leads to unexpected new discoveries

Last month an industrious team of staff and volunteers took on the momentous task of removing, reorganising and rehoming the archives into new rolling stacks in the basement of the Institute.  Jacquetta Hawkes, Jerusalem, WWII and Stuart Pigggot all feature in this tale of archaeological spring-cleaning.

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2016 Field trip to the Ridgeway

Dr Rick Schulting and Dr John Pouncett led a group of students from the School of Archaeology on a fieldtrip last Saturday morning to the Ridgeway, Oxfordshire. Highlights of the day included Wayland's Smithy and the White Horse at Uffington, followed by a hearty lunch at the Fox and Hounds public house. 

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The Higgs Bison: mystery species hidden in cave art

Ancient DNA research has revealed that Ice Age cave artists recorded a previously unknown hybrid species of bison and cattle in great detail on cave walls more than 15,000 years ago. The mystery species, known affectionately by the researchers as the Higgs Bison because of its elusive nature, originated over 120,000 years ago through the hybridisation of the extinct Aurochs (the ancestor of modern cattle) and the Ice Age Steppe Bison, which ranged across the cold grasslands from Europe to Mexico.

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Ancient Britons' teeth reveal people were 'highly mobile' 4,000 years ago

Archaeologists have created a new database from the teeth of prehistoric humans found at ancient burial sites in Britain and Ireland that tell us a lot about their climate, their diet and even how far they may have travelled. In a paper, led by Dr Maura Pellegrini from the University of Oxford, researchers say that individuals in prehistoric Britain were highly mobile.

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Greenland shark revealed to have longest life expectancy of all vertebrates

An international team of scientists led by the University of Copenhagen and including the University of Oxford has found that the Greenland shark has a life expectancy of at least 272 years. This discovery shows it is the longest living vertebrate known to science, exceeding even bowhead whales, turtles and tortoises. The findings are published in latest issue of the journal, Science

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