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McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

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McDonald Institute

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research serves as an interdisciplinary hub aiming to provide a shared intellectual home for archaeologists at Cambridge with a programme of seminars, workshops, conferences, publications and research grants as well as laboratory space for a wide range of archaeological research which crosses continents, periods and approaches in its exploration of the diversity of the human past.


Division of Archaeology

The Division of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for the study of the human past across the globe, from the Palaeolithic to the present.

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NOW AVAILABLE - Preludes to Urbanism

This newest volume in the McDonald Institute Monographs Series explores early complex society and nascent urbanism, based in studies of Mesopotamia during the fifth–fourth millennia BC. The authors use multi-scalar approaches, including material culture-based studies, settlement archaeology and regional surveys, to achieve an understanding of the dynamics of early urbanism across this key region. The book reveals the variety of social, economic and political relationships that are implicit within an urban centre and an urbanized society.

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Living in the Landscape

Now published, this edited volume reflects on the multitude of ways by which humans shape and are shaped by the natural world, and how Archaeology and its cognate disciplines recover this relationship. The structure and content of the book recognize Graeme Barker’s pioneering contribution to the scientific study of human–environment interaction, and form a secondary dialectic between his many colleagues and past students and the academic vista which he has helped define. This newest volume in the McDonald Institute Monographs series comprises 22 thematic papers, arranged chronologically, each a presentation of front-line research in their respective fields.

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RSS Feed Latest news

Sell-out success for Pint of Science 2015

May 29, 2015

Cambridge archaeologists deliver a hugely successful series of pub-based talks during Pint of Science week

'Caribbean Architectural Mode' relevant in today's climate

Apr 29, 2015

Aid workers should read through archaeologists’ notebooks on house-building

Did Stone Age humans deflesh their dead?

Apr 09, 2015

Cut marks on European Neolithic human bones show evidence of an early burial rite

Poisonous garden plants once used as prehistoric weaponry

Mar 23, 2015

New technology furthers research into the use of poisonous plants by prehistoric societies to make weapons more lethal for hunting

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Upcoming events

Later European Prehistory Group

Nov 16, 2015

West Building Seminar Room, West Building, McDonald Institute, Downing Site

McDonald Annual Lecture 2015

Nov 18, 2015

Venue to be confirmed

Textual Archaeology of the Ancient Near East: Are We Doing It Wrong?

Dec 10, 2015

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Upcoming events