Archaeology research

Our research ranges from Greenland to Kurdistan, and from the Palaeolithic to the present day. Within that range, we have particular research strengths in material culture, landscape, engagement archaeology, Scotland and the North Atlantic, the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, and the early historic period. 

Archaeology is concerned with the fundamental nature of human societies: through it, we seek to understand processes such as the adoption of agriculture or the spread of urbanism. Archaeology at Glasgow is practice-based, theoretically informed and socially engaged. It is distinguished by a grounding in practice and fieldwork, a focus on the analysis of artefacts and landscape, and a commitment to working with communities and organisations outside the university. 

Research Strengths

  • Material Culture – Our research encompasses empirical and theory-based investigations of production, consumption, preservation and meaning. This builds upon the internationally important collections in the Hunterian and Glasgow Museums, including the new state-of-the-art Kelvin Hall facility, and includes expertise in lithic analysis, prehistoric textiles, Medieval ceramics and glass, Viking domestic materials, dress and weapons, and understanding collectors and collections.

  • Landscape – The interdisciplinary study of how humans have shaped, and are shaped by, the natural and built environments connects the work of many of us. Common methodologies and research questions have allowed us to work productively in a range of different locations from the Zagros Mountains to Iceland, and to explore different spaces and periods. An interest in questions of political organisation links much of this work.

  • Engagement Archaeology – A concern to make our research relevant to the contemporary world characterises much of our scholarship. Discovering ways that archaeological knowledge can contribute to community regeneration, enhance personal wellbeing and support future sustainability can be just as big a research challenge as finding out about the past. The pursuit of socially engaged research necessarily involves working with communities and organisations outside the university.

 We have two broad geographical areas of fieldwork and research:

Centres and Research Groups