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, the classical and medieval worlds and the ‘contemporary past’, as well as the environmental settings in which they existed. We work 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, 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. Several specialist centres focus on particular themes or methods, including the 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. 

The School of Archaeology was established in 2000, as the successor to the Committee for Archaeology. The School of Archaeology students and staff are based in three closely spaced locations in central Oxford, near the libraries, museums, laboratories and other facilities of the University.  The Institute of Archaeology is adjacent to the Ashmolean Museum and Sackler Library and is the main base for most students studying the postgraduate degrees in Archaeology, and the associated academic staff.  Very close to this, and also next to the Ashmolean Museum is the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies where students doing postgraduate work in Classical Archaeology are usually based together with others studying the classical world through other disciplines.  The third main hub is in South Parks Road, in Oxford’s Science Area, where the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art provides the main home for Archaeological Science students and staff.  South Parks Road is also the base for the main administrative support functions of the School of Archaeology. Teaching and research at all levels takes place in all three locations allowing the School to make best use of the excellent facilities available within the School and wider University.