Department of Archaeology
Investigating the evidence from three million years of our past is central to understanding what it means to be human.
Forever rediscovering humanity
Archaeology's uniquely long perspective spans from our earliest origins to recent developments that have shaped the modern world: agriculture, urbanisation, capitalism and religion.
At Reading, we are especially focused on those issues from the past that are critical to our shared global future – economic risk and resilience, human diets and health, climate change, and inequality, migration and identity.
Be curious. Reconstruct our past. Influence our future.
“Archaeological research is transforming our understanding of the human past and in the process contributing to addressing global challenges such as health problems, clean energy, sustainable agriculture, conflict and humanitarian action, and foundations for inclusive growth.”
First in the UK for archaeological research
We rank first in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research publications in archaeology in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014).
Expert peer review confirmed 81% of our research scored within the 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent) categories, above Oxford, Durham, UCL, York and Cambridge in a competitive field of more than twenty submissions. Our grade point average was 3.08, well above the sector mean, with outstanding scores in outputs and environment.
Global top 30 for archaeology
We rank in the top 30 in the world for Archaeology (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
Learn from our internationally recognised experts who research and teach in areas such as material culture, bioarchaeology, forensic science, past climate and environmental change (including geoarchaeology), museums, and gender archaeology. Our expertise spans from the earliest humans to the post-medieval period and feeds directly into the student experience.
We also have an outstanding record for student satisfaction, with 90–100% satisfied with the quality of the course in consecutive National Student Surveys (2010–2016) and the latest Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2016).
Our enterprise services
Our staff have close ties with the commercial archaeology world, and Reading's School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science has its own commercial enterprise, Quest, where you can take advantage of a range of field and laboratory opportunities.