The Department of Archaeology & Anthropology comprises a highly dynamic and engaged team of experts who are committed to inspiring learning through teaching, advancing knowledge through research, and enriching society through professional and engagement work.
Our active research interests stretch from the very earliest archaeology and anthropology of our human ancestors, right the way through to early farming societies, the Bronze and Iron Ages, to the Romans. They are also global in scale – from Europe and the Near East, to Africa, Asia, the Americas and the islands of the Pacific. We specialise in practical fieldwork and the analysis of archaeological and anthropological material, including digital, forensic and maritime methods and applications of archaeology and anthropology. We are also actively concerned with the relationships that exist between humans, objects, animals and our environments and how these vary across time and space, contributing not only to debates about the past, but also present day issues such as climate change.
Importantly our research informs and enriches our teaching and professional work. Central to all of our taught courses is a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning involving our state-of-the-art laboratory and analytical facilities, field equipment and world-class teaching and learning collections. To support this emphasis on skills-based learning, placements are also available on all our undergraduate courses and we were amongst one of the very first departments in the UK to have our archaeology degrees accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.
Our students rate us very highly – the 2020 National Student Survey put us in the top eight departments in the UK for our archaeology courses, and our students consistently comment on how engaged, approachable and helpful our lecturers are. Our reputation for research is growing very fast too - we are currently the top-rated new university for archaeological research and all of our staff are actively involved in research and working at the cutting edge of their fields.
The department holds a Bronze Athena Swan Charter award which recognises our gender equality efforts. We are committed to promoting inclusive working practices and to providing an equitable working environment for both students and staff. Our Athena Swan budget contributes funding to research projects, please see the 'Forgotten Heros Exhibition' on our research page.
50 years of Archaeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth
In 2017-18 we celebrated 50 years of archaeology and anthropology at Bournemouth University and its predecessor institutions with a conference and the publication of a short history of the Department (pdf 960kb).
Back in 1967, Bill Putnam introduced archaeology to the teacher training curriculum at Weymouth College, followed soon after by a Certificate in Practical Archaeology. This morphed into the HND in Practical Archaeology, and from 1981 a series of undergraduate and later postgraduate degree courses. Institutionally, the programmes moved from Weymouth College to the Dorset Institute of Higher Education, then to Bournemouth Polytechnic, and from 1992 Bournemouth University.