Although archaeology is studied on a world scale in Oxford, Europe has always provided a key area for research. As a western peninsula of the Eurasian landmass, Europe has participated in broad flows of people and ideas, including early hominid dispersals, the migration of modern humans, the development of agriculture and moves to states and civilizations. Large-scale research projects are engaging with each of these topics in the field and through laboratory work, so that excavations in Gibraltar have thrown light on the interactions between Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens, work on early farming sites in Central Europe have utilized the latest scientific techniques to explore crops and nutrition, and studies of trauma on human bone have provided new views of violence and well-being in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. A major focus has been on later prehistory, including moves into the Roman Empire and the construction of the post-Roman world, with major field research in Britain, France, Spain and Italy. Large-scale synthesis have been carried out concerning settlement, land-use and society of Early Medieval Europe. Modern capitalism and industrial society arose in Europe and two posts, shared with the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums respectively, have been focused on the Later Medieval and Modern periods, using museum collections and a host of other archaeological materials.
Overall, we aim to provide a long-term sense of continuity and change within Europe deriving from landscape formation, production and exchange. Long-standing seminar series have provided forums for local researchers and visiting scholars. In addition to important links to Oxford museums, we enjoy close relations particularly with the Classics and History Faculties.
For details of staff and projects in this area, please see our people pages and select "Eurasion Prehistory" from the dropdown menu.