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.”
renowned for archaeological research
97% of our research was judged to be of international standing 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, 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.
highly rated for archaeology
We are among the top ten UK universities for Archaeology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, and 41st overall.
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 track record for student satisfaction, with satisfaction scores of 90%-100% for the quality of our courses in every National Student Survey between 2010 and 2020.
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.