BA Archaeology & Anthropology

General Archaeology Photo

Have you ever thought about questions like these and wanted to find out what answers there might be for them?

  • Why is it a serious matter to accuse someone of being a witch in some societies, but not in others?
  • Did Neanderthals sing as they buried their dead?
  • Have societies really evolved from simple to complex?
  • Why did Europeans conquer the Americas after 1492, not the other way round?
  • Who built Stonehenge and why?
  • Why did anyone ever start to farm?
  • When did people start developing museums and why?
  • Why do some cultures insist that you marry your cousin and others make it impossible?
  • How can we reconstruct past climates and ecologies and can this tell us anything about possible future patterns of environmental change?
  • Where did people like us first develop and how did they spread to the rest of the world?
  • Why do we walk on two legs not four?
  • How can archaeologists date objects from the past?
Scientific Archaeology

If so, then Archaeology & Anthropology at Oxford is probably the degree course that you’re looking for. Drawing on well over a century of experience in teaching and research, outstanding museum and library resources and the cumulative knowledge of literally dozens of academics, Oxford’s Arch & Anth course offers a comprehensive guide to the richness and diversity of human cultural experience throughout space and time. By choosing to study here you will be able to:

  • explore how humans evolved
  • get to grips with major transformational processes in human history such as the development of farming, the emergence of towns, trading systems and the spread of world religions
  • assess the relative importance of environmental, genetic and social factors in understanding patterns of human growth and nutrition
  • learn why societies structure their families, economies and political systems in the ways that they do
  • and investigate the purposes that art and other forms of material culture serve in the representation and reproduction of beliefs and ideologies

And as well as that, you’ll take part in an archaeological excavation, have the opportunity of participating in other archaeological or anthropological projects anywhere in the world and undertake your own original research. Combine all of this with a superb quality of teaching, an unparalleled level of personal attention from those tutoring and lecturing you, a wealth of extra-curricular activities and excellent career opportunities and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of Archaeology & Anthropology before now.

But maybe you’re concerned that Oxford may not be your kind of place? Don’t be! Our students body is drawn from all parts of the United Kingdom and from across the world. Selected purely on academic grounds, without any concern for background or schooling, its diversity, enthusiasm and vitality mirror the subjects that form the Arch & Anth degree. And getting in is not difficult as you might think - roughly two in every five candidates are offered a place, so give it a go!

Finally, if you don’t find that your questions are answered here, then please contact us at once.

School of Archaeology > Admissions > Undergraduate Studies > Archaeology & Anthropology