About the School

Oxford’s School of Archaeology is a lively and diverse community of archaeologists. Our work takes in the full scope of human history, from early hunter-gatherers through to the origins of agriculture, and the classical and medieval worlds, as well as the environmental settings in which they existed. We do this in just about every inhabited part of the world, and using the full range of theories, methods and techniques available to archaeologists. The past is of vital interest to the present too, because it raises complex issues of identity, ethics and belonging that we see as crucial areas for debate.

An outstanding record for winning research funding from national and international sources allows us to pursue the big questions about social, evolutionary, biological and economic changes. In addition to these research groups, several specialist centres focus on particular themes or methods: they include the internationally recognised Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (incorporating a national NERC Radiocarbon Facility), the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology, the PalaeoBarn (home of the Wellcome Trust Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network), and the Oxford Centre for Asian Archaeology, Art and Culture. The School also provides a focus for archaeologists from across the collegiate university; in particular we enjoy close links with Classical Archaeology in the Department of Classics, the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography with whom we share the undergraduate degree, and the university’s outstanding museums. These relationships enrich our undergraduate and postgraduate student experience. 

We are one of the world’s leading archaeology departments and for the last four years we have been ranked in the top three in the QS Top Universities World rankings for Archaeology (first in the last two). 

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