Archaeology is concerned with the fundamental nature of human societies; through its study, we seek to understand complex social processes. Exploring both the deep and the recent human past gives us insights into how people conceive of society and community and make sense of the world around them. By the very nature of archaeology, we engage with contemporary society as much as with the past: we bring new data and insights to issues ranging from social inequality and climate change to national identities and the heritage boom. To do this, we collaborate with scientists, artists, policy makers, heritage practitioners, and local communities.
As a research community, we are proud of the history and reputation of Archaeology at Glasgow University for innovative applications of archaeological theory and for conducting research that explores the wider contribution of cultural heritage to society. Our research is grounded in archaeological practice – fieldwork, scientific analysis (artefacts, environmental, geospatial and chronological data), and engagement with communities and organisations outside the university.
Our research clusters showcase our methodological strengths: material culture, landscape studies, and digital archaeology. Regionally, our fieldwork and research is focused upon Scotland in its broadest insular and Atlantic contexts, and on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, where we have a longstanding and substantial engagement. Cutting across all three research clusters, Engaged Archaeology is an ethos we all share, and we have an ongoing commitment to practice and innovation in archaeological science.
Research-led teaching is central to our practice: it drives our teaching across our undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, and supports research collaborations across the University and with external third sector organisations.