Students presenting in a classroom
We have outstanding facilities that include: experimental archaeology laboratories; clean lab with fume cupboards for chemical work; a landscape archaeology project office, complete with giant scanner for maps and plans; microscope room equipped with highspec microscopes and image processing facilities; a kiln room for ceramics and other experimental purposes; wet labs for artefact and environmental sample processing; sets of high- and low-power teaching microscopes and state-of-the-art surveying equipment (including resistivity equipment, magnetometer, differential and hand-held GPS and total station theodolite). We also have extensive reference collections of artefacts, animal bones and plant remains.
The University provides an excellent range of diverse learning spaces. We teach our larger classes in well-equipped lecture theatres around campus, but we also teach smaller seminar and practical classes within the Department's own teaching rooms and laboratories. The larger of the Department's own teaching rooms is used for both practical and thematic modules; it is equipped with a full Audio-Visual system and electronic projector. There is a smaller teaching room often used for hands-on practical modules, such as zooarchaeology. It is also used for many MA modules and is equipped with the same AV system for use in lectures. These rooms can also be used for project work.
We have a new bioarchaeology lab dedicated to the study of anatomical variation, palaeopathological conditions, and the funerary context of human and animal remains. The laboratory, accompanied by a designated store for the Department's collection of human remains, provides facilities for use by researchers and students for examining skeletal remains recovered from archaeological sites. Equipment includes anatomical casts and demographic reference standards used to determine the sex, age-at-death, stature and body proportions from human remains.
The department has two interconnected wet laboratories. These are intended for the processing of dirty or messy objects and are commonly used for cleaning finds from excavations and initial processing of soil samples. They are also available for environmental sample processing activities and are often used by students who need somewhere to analyse artefacts. Both laboratories have a large number of work surfaces, two sinks and drying racks. These labs can also be used for storing finds and samples.
The clean laboratory is used for chemical processes and circumstances where contamination is a concern and is often used for environmental sample processing, such as the preparation of phytolith and starch samples. It is equipped with two large fume cabinets for the use of toxic chemicals.
The microscope room is a dedicated space containing four research microscopes and a number of portable microscopes for use elsewhere around the department. Staff and students use this room for various projects, including the analysis of phytoliths, use-wear traces on stone tools and cut marks on bones. The research microscopes are connected to specialised cameras, enabling microphotographs of the studied materials to be used in project work or publications.
The experimental lab is mainly for the use of masters students studying the Experimental Archaeology modules but is also used by undergraduates, PhD students and researchers who are working on experimental projects. This laboratory has many work tables, lockers or workspace for the storage of projects, stocks of materials useful for experimental projects, a wide array of tools and an adjacent workshop. In addition to the experimental laboratory, there are two outdoor spaces dedicated to experimental research.
The pottery room is a practical space for the creation of pots and other ceramic items. It contains an electric potter’s wheel, numerous tools and materials and an electric, programmable kiln that can reach temperatures of 1300 degrees Celsius.
This room is dedicated to research projects and is often used by students working on dissertations and theses. There are a number of tables which can be used to lay out artefacts while they are being analysed.