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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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Niah Caves Project Now Published

The cathedral-like Niah Caves of Sarawak (Borneo) have iconic status in the archaeology of Southeast Asia, because the excavations by Tom and Barbara Harrisson in the 1950s and 1960s revealed the longest sequence of human occupation in the region, from (we now know) 50,000 years ago to the recent past. This newest book in the McDonald Monographs Series presents the results of new multi-disciplinary work in the caves and provides exciting new insights into the prehistory of the region.

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New Book

"Spong Hill, part IX" by Catherine Hills and Sam Lucy is now published as part of the McDonald Institute Monographs Series. This volume presents the long-awaited chronology and synthesis of the site and gives a detailed overview of the artefactual evidence, which includes over 1200 objects of bone, antler and ivory.

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Lobby and Seminar Room Renovation Now Complete

Building work on the Institute’s lobby and seminar room, which began in earnest at the beginning of June, is now complete. The internal walls have been demolished to make way for a new state-of-the-art soundproof, removable wall for the seminar room. New lighting and media systems have been installed as well as a custom-built receptionist’s desk, book-display unit and kitchen facilities. The bright, new open space will be a wonderful place to work, learn and socialise.

RSS Feed Latest news

Modern humans braved the cold with Neanderthals

Sep 25, 2014

Research, led by Dr Philip Nigst, Division of Archaeology, (Univeristy of Cambridge), contributes new information to the debate about modern human colonisation of Europe.

'Ground breaking achievements in promoting heritage studies' recognised

Sep 18, 2014

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen awarded the 16th European Archaeology Heritage Prize (2014)

Graeme Barker awarded Honorary Degree

Jul 29, 2014

University of Sheffield honours "one of its most successful and influential former colleagues."

Clay tokens used for 'book-keeping' long after invention of writing

Jul 21, 2014

Latest excavations led by McDonald Institute researcher John MacGinnis, show prehistoric clay tokens remained integral to recording trade across the Assyrian Empire - millennia after this system was believed to have vanished.

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Upcoming events

Prehistory Day

Oct 25, 2014

Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Storey’s Way, CB3 0DT

Medieval Archaeology Group

Oct 27, 2014

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Asian Archaeology Group Seminar

Oct 27, 2014

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Ancient History and Classical Art & Archaeology Seminar Group

Oct 27, 2014

Room G.21, Faculty of Classics

Heritage Research Group

Oct 28, 2014

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Ancient Near East Seminar Series

Oct 28, 2014

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Archaeological Field Club (AFC)

Oct 29, 2014

South Lecture Room, Division of Archaeology, Downing Site CB2 3DZ

Egyptian World Seminar Series

Oct 29, 2014

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Garrod Seminar Series

Oct 30, 2014

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Upcoming events