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Members of the McDonald Institute and the Division of Archaeology conduct a variety of archaeological projects across the globe, a selection of which are featured here.

Current Research Projects

A project exploring and preserving the archaeology of the ancient city of Amarna and its historical context.


A cultural history of variation, illness and death


Excavations at the Brough of Deerness, an enigmatic Viking Age site in Orkney


Excavation and survey in southern Aspromonte


Excavations of a Prehistoric and Roman landscape at Bury Farm, Stapleford, Cambridgeshire


Archaeology of Cidade Velha, Cape Verde


Excavations at the Prehistoric site of Damerham, Hampshire


Investigating the 1st Millennium BC in Europe


Food globalisation in prehistory


Studying the diversity of political frontiers in Etruria


Investigating unsolved problems of the fourth and third millennium BC in Malta


The Cyrenaica prehistory project, Libya


Untangling the histories and philosophies of archaeology and making them intelligible


Environmental constraints and human responses in northwest India between 2000 and 300 BC: Investigating the cultural and geographical transformations from the collapse of Harappan urbanism to the rise the great Early Historic cities


The Marakwet Community Heritage Mapping Project involves the large-scale mapping of Marakwet landscape features and the collection of related oral historical records.

The project forms a central element within the broader research network: 'African Farming: An interdisciplinary pan-African perspective'. 


The analysis of a fuzzy frontier between the Etruscans and the Umbrians


The One River Project aims to track the flux in rich cultural florescence and collapse through the past along the course of a single river — the Río Ica — from the southern Andes to its arid coast.


Digital Humanities Research Project and Interactive Digital Rock-Art Gallery


An on going, educational, oral-history research initiative



A Bronze Age fortified tell settlement on the right bank of the river Danube 30km south of Budapest.


The investigation of urban growth and administration in northern Mesopotamia in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC (north-east Syria)


Collapse and transformation in the Mediterranean 1200--500 BC


Excavations at the cave site of Vela Spila, island of Korčula, Croatia



Past Research Projects

Investigating the changing social landscape of the southern Danish island of Als from the Neolithic to the Viking period.


A cross-disciplinary series of international symposia, lectures, and publications, funded under the British Academy's UK-Latin American and Caribbean Link Programme.


Investigating ancient Pushkalavati: Excavations at Balar Hisar, Charsadda, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan.


Understanding power relations and social practice: Community development in the Calchaqui Valley, Argentina. Investigating changing power relations and the nature of leadership at Borgatta during the period before the Inka conquest (AD 1000-1450)



Leverhulme Research Programme 2005-2009: Addressing the question of why and how humans change what they believe about the human body


Identifying osteological differences between riding, traction and free-living horses, resulting from their different life ways, in order to further our understanding of the origins and evolution of horse husbandry


Cultural Heritage and the Reconstruction of Identities after Conflict


Excavation in the cemetery area of the ancient Latin town of Crustumerium, Rome


Investigating long-term and present-day interactions between people and rainforest in the Kelabit Highlands of central Borneo


Researching how and where broomcorn millet was first domesticated and why it appears on opposite sides of Asia at a similar time, 8,000 years ago


Investigating the socio-cultural and environmental impacts of colonialism


Ancient Settlements of the Gangetic Plain: Location and Territoriality


Investigating unsolved problems of the fourth and third millennium BC in Malta


The purpose of the IARC was to monitor and report upon the damage caused to cultural heritage by the international trade in illicit antiquities (i.e. antiquities which have been stolen or clandestinely excavated and/or illegally exported).


Excavations at Keros in the Cyclades


A rescue excavation in the Goksu Valley, Turkey


Leverhulme-funded research into the linguistics and archaeology of the dispersal of the early Indo-European languages


Investigating the Iron Age landscape of the island of Lismore


Understanding the landscape of Loughcrew through airborne LIDAR survey and digital spatial analysis


Analysis of the faience from excavations of the kiln at Kom Helul, Memphis


Excavation at the magnificently-decorated Minaret of Jam, Afghanistan


Bioarchaeological analysis of early cold-climate human ecology


The Northeast Algonquin Palaeo-Lake and Environmental Assessment (NAPLEA)


Excavations and survey work at the ancient town of Nepi carried out during the early 1990s under the umbrella of the Tiber valley project of the British School at Rome.


  • Niah Caves, Sarawak

Initial colonisation and exploitation of rainforests in south-east Asia


An international archaeological project working at North Karnak, Egypt


Visual Perception and Cognition in the Rock Carvings of Northern Russia


The origins of weaving project aims to contribute to the understanding of weaving by focusing on the identification of plants used in making the earliest textiles (about 28,000 to 20,000 years ago)


Explorations into the conditions of spiritual creativity in Prehistoric Malta


 Changing Paleoenvironments and Hunter-Gatherer Strategies in the Northern Adriatic Basin


Quoygrew is a late Viking Age and medieval rural settlement on the island of Westray in Orkney, Scotland. It was partially excavated between 1999 and 2005, after an initial archaeological assessment in 1997


A study of the Roman pottery of the Nepi Survey Project in 2007.


Investigating indications of the early occurrence and development of aspects of religious practices and belief


A series of inter-related projects are enhancing knowledge of the South (east) Etruria area north of Rome


Exploring routes and plains in southwest Iran


Star Carr and the early postglacial occupation of the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire


Developing a model for understanding long-term continuity and variation in prehistoric ritual practices


Mapping the lower and middle Tiber catchment: The aim of the project is to employ aerial photography, multi spectral data and LiDAR to investigate: Archaeological site recovery, erosion, water management (artificial channels (cuniculi)), land use, DEM precision, and demographic reconstruction


Excavation at Hang Boi, the Fortune-Teller's Cave, Vietnam


This project regards the application and development of novel techniques of landscape archaeology in central Tyhrrenian, Italy


Investigating and documenting the remains of the lower town at Ziyaret

Upcoming events

Marine Mammal Working Group (International Council for Archaeozoology)

Sep 20, 2019

McDonald Institute Seminar Room, Courtyard Building, Downing Street

Upcoming events

An Oral History of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research