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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.


COMING SOON: Twice-crossed river

This is the first volume charting the CAU’s on-going Barleycroft Farm/Over investigations, which now encompasses almost twenty years of fieldwork across both banks of the River Great Ouse at its junction with the Fen. Amongst the project’s main directives is the status of a major river in prehistory – when a communication corridor and when a divide? Accordingly, a key component throughout has been the documentation of the lower Ouse’s complex palaeoenvironmental history, and a delta-like wet landscape dotted with mid-stream islands has been mapped.

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COMING SOON: The Pottery from Dhaskalio

This fourth volume in 'The Sanctuary on Keros and the Origins of Aegean Ritual Practice' series treats in detail the pottery from the settlement on the islet of Dhaskalio, whose excavation is described in Volume I of the series. Much of the importance of this material lies in the undisturbed stratigraphy of the settlement, a fact that allowed for the recognition of three successive phases of occupation of the site with considerable ceramic continuity between them, as well as for safe inferences about its chronology, with wider implications for the later early bronze age of the Cyclades.

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Radio 4 In 'Our Time' broadcast with Simon Stoddart

Jun 17, 2016

Simon Stoddart discusses The Bronze Age Collapse, the name given by many historians to what appears to have been a sudden, uncontrolled destruction of dominant civilizations around 1200 BC in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia.

Radio 4 Must Farm broadcast with Cyprian Broodbank

May 24, 2016

Cyprian Broodbank explains how the Must Farm excavation is transforming our understanding of Bronze Age life on BBC Radio 4's 'Start the Week' programme

Research on ancient writing systems wins major award

Apr 07, 2016

Philippa Steele, of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Classics and a McDonald Institute Fellow, has been awarded a major European grant to run the project 'Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems' (CREWS)

Rare Nepali textile finds raise prospect of Silk Road extending further south than previously thought

Mar 31, 2016

Analyses of cloth remains found near a gold/silver funerary mask in the Samdzong tomb complex in Nepal point to connections with north-east Asia and suggest the possibility that Samdzong was inserted into the long-distance trade network of the Silk Road.

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Showcasing research highlights and outreach from the academic year 2015-2016

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Upcoming events

SHARING The Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers

Sep 20, 2016

McDonald Institute Seminar Room

Festival of Ideas

Oct 18, 2016

McDonald Institute Seminar Room, Courtyard Building, Downing Street

The Pasts and Presence of Art in South Africa: Technologies, Ontologies and Agents

Oct 27, 2016

McDonald Institute Seminar Room, Courtyard Building, Downing Street

Studying Urbanism in First Millennium BC (Iron Age) Germany

Nov 07, 2016

McDonald Institute Seminar Room, Courtyard Building, Downing Street

Upcoming events

An Oral History of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research