In 2020 the British Academy published this report which stated that the arts, humanities and social sciences will be vital in building the society we want to live in, with individuals able to tackle the challenges we face and shape the future. Here at the School we believe that archaeology can play a crucial role in this endeavour.
Archaeology gives us the tools to examine and explain human behaviour, understand how society functions, learn from the past and apply those lessons to the present, and analyse the drivers and implications of a changing world and how different countries, places and cultures interact.
We have challenged our staff and students to tell us why they think archaeology matters. We will continue to post their responses below.
In this article published in The Conversation, Prof Chirikure considers how studying the past, through what people leave behind, can offer insights into some of the world’s challenges – like hunger, health, and protecting the environment.
Dr Timothy Clack explores in this opinion piece how heritage can play a prominent role in safeguarding human security and the return to ‘normality’ in the aftermath of conflict. Heritage protection and restitution are critical drivers of resolution and post-war recovery.
In this article, published in Anthroposphere - The Oxford Climate Review, Abi discusses how techniques and crafts employed in the design of historic ships can inspire thinking about ways of mitigating climate change.
In this article published in The Conversation, Ruby-Anne discusses how her research findings disrupt past narratives that decry the presence and ability of African farmers before and during colonisation.
In her research Molly seeks to understand how humans and plants became entangled throughout long periods of time, with the goal of questioning contemporary plant-human relationships. Here she reports on a conference looking at our relationship with trees.
In this article 'Why Colston had to Fall' published in the ArtReview, Professor Dan Hicks considers how the lines of British public debate about heritage and racism are being redrawn and how people are using statues and museums as public spaces to re-frame how we think about anti-blackness and social justice in the twenty-first century.