Research at Leicester's School of Archaeology & Ancient History
The School has long been in the vanguard of both Archaeology and Ancient History research in the UK. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 74% of our research activity, including 100% of our Research Environment, was classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', placing us in the top five Archaeology departments in the UK, and 1st for the public impact of our research.
Our research has also achieved international prominence as a result of excavation of the body of Richard III in Leicester in 2012 by the School’s professional field archaeologists (ULAS), and the ensuing interdisciplinary study of the remains led by our research staff. Rediscovery of the king’s remains was an exceptionally spectacular outcome of more typical School activity; investigation and research of archaeological remains and historical records, in this case of Leicester’s medieval monastery of Greyfriars.
Our research strategy exploits the disciplinary mix within the School, allowing us to focus on a number of key themes. We have particular expertise in:
- Ancient History - Exploring the culture and people of the ancient world
- Bioarchaeology - Diet, health and lifeways of humans and animals
- Greek Archaeology - From Colonisation to Hellenism
- Medieval and Historical Archaeology - The archaeologies of the medieval and modern world
- Prehistory - Foragers to farmers from the Old World to the New World
- Roman Archaeology - Investigating Roman impacts across and beyond the Empire
Staff work all over the world on research projects in Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, central Europe, Egypt, North Africa, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, the USA, Cuba and elsewhere. We cover all periods from the earliest humans to the recent past. Many projects are externally-funded and are collaborative with scholars from outside institutions. Our research postgraduate cohort feeds from and enhances this expertise and range.
Please see our School Research Projects for some of the exciting research by current School academic staff and postdoctoral scholars, ranging from the ancient parkland at Bradgate, to Wallingford medieval town, to landlord villages in Iran and the 'Cultured Rainforest'.