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Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of the whole scope of human history and activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture, including artefacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes.
βŒ›οΈLast updated: Aug. 7, 2020, 10:47 a.m.

Application Resources

Here are some general resources related to Archaeology. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Archaeology-related course you’re interested in and where you might want to study it.

If you are specifically interested in Classical Archaeology, you should also look at the resources on InsideUni’s Classics page πŸ”— 🌟.

Online Archaeology


These resources will help you understand the real work that archaeologists do. They highlight recent research and exploration - which will be useful as you make decisions about what to study, and then in writing your personal statement!

DigVentures πŸ”— offer online courses (some of which are periodically free) and places on digs or working with finds. They also publish all of their finds online and make this information easily and freely available.

Vindolanda πŸ”— This excavation site also has a lot of online resources, focusing mostly on Roman forts.

Beacons of the Past: Citizen Science πŸ”— 🌟 This project, based in the Brecon Beacons, UK, gives you the chance to become a β€˜citizen scientist’, offering free online training in LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), and then letting you get stuck into crowdsourced archaeology from your own home.

GlobalXPlorer πŸ”— An online platform that uses the power of the crowd to analyse the incredible wealth of satellite images currently available to archaeologists. The educational course about Peru is of great use.

Online (free!) journals and blogs


Explore the way people are writing and thinking about archaeology now - take notes as you read, and use these articles as a springboard to dig deeper!

Eidolon πŸ”— An online journal for scholarly writing about Classics that isn’t formal scholarship.

That Magister πŸ”— 🌟 A very useful collection of resources on a variety of archaeology-related topics, including an extensive reading list of suggestions for university applicants.

Podcasts


Podcasts are fantastic introductions to areas of archaeological research. Listen & then follow up anything you find interesting with some independent research online. This process is something university students do all the time; it is also good evidence of interest, curiosity and good academic practice in a personal statement.

The Hellenistic Age podcast πŸ”— From the Wars of the Diadochi to the rise of the Roman Republic, these episodes look at the political, social, economic and cultural changes that occurred over 300 years: a fascinating yet often unappreciated period of history.

The Archaeology Podcast Network πŸ”— A huge collection of podcasts on everything archaeology-related!

The British Museum’s 'A History of the World in 100 Objects' podcast πŸ”— 🌟 A really useful podcast covering the full range of human world history. It also has useful notes on museology for those with a specific interest creating museums and preserving artefacts.

Documentaries

At any one time, there are loads of different Mary Beard, Michael Scott, Bettany Reeves, and Alastair Sooke documentaries on YouTube or BBC iPlayer - type their names into the search bar and see what comes up!

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams πŸ”— A film about 20,000 year old cave paintings and the archaeologists who study them.

The Monk, The Midden & The Missing Monastery πŸ”— A realistic account of a DigVentures excavation.

DigNation Festival 2018 talks πŸ”— 🌟 A fascinating series of lectures by renowned archaeologists.

Archaeology: A Secret History πŸ”— A BBC series discussing the origins and evolution of archaeology as a discipline in the West and how archaeology has been used by rulers to try to control history.

Britain at Low Tide πŸ”— Dr Tori Herridge explores the archaeology of the island’s coastline, and the historical remains we see when the tide goes out.

Britain’s Ancient Tracks with Tony Robinson πŸ”— Exploring the mysteries and legends of the ancient trackways that have been used for over 5000 years.

TV Shows

Time Team πŸ”— A team of experts investigating a wide range of archaeological sites.

Digging up Britain’s Past πŸ”— The show’s presenters visit ongoing archaeological digs, and discuss their discoveries with experts.

β€˜Lost’ Kingdoms of Africa πŸ”— British art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores the history of some of Africa’s old kingdoms.

β€˜Lost’ Cities of the Maya: Revealed πŸ”— A series of LiDAR-based discoveries combined with work on the ground.

Book recommendations

Look out for these books in your local library, or try to find second-hand copies online.

'A Very Short Introduction to Archaeology' - The Very Short Introduction series is always a good place to start.

'Archaeology from Space' by Sarah Parcak - Professor Sarah Parcak is an Egyptologist and a Space Archaeologist. This book is predominantly about using satellites to map archaeological sites and track looting and covers a huge span of different world archaeologies! Sarah Parcak is also a Ted Talks Presenter, so you can find her Ted Talks presentations, too!

'Pompeii' by Mary Beard - all about the famous site of Classical Pompeii. Covers some of the archaeological problems with the seemingly so well preserved city.

'Erebus: The Story of a Ship' by Michael Palin - recent maritime archaeology and history and their intersection with global exploration, the arctic and antarctic, and shipwrecks.

'Mudlarking' by Lara Maiklem - learning about London and its lost ways of life through objects recovered from the banks of the Thames.

'The Silk Road' by Peter Frankopan - exploring where civilisation began and how empires began to form.

Magazine recommendations

World Archaeology Magazine πŸ”— A wide range of articles on recent excavations, discoveries and museum reviews.

Current Archaeology Magazine πŸ”— Interviews with archaeologists themselves to find out why excavators went to the site; how they made their discoveries; what they found; why it’s important; and, of course, what it all means.

Image credit: Gonville and Caius by Akil Hashmi