Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Archaeology

Archaeology is the only humanistic discipline that treats the whole history of humankind

In this subject, we study human beings and societies in prehistorical and early historical times through the material remains they have left behind. The subject is global and our researchers work on four continents. The teaching draws on examples from the whole world, but it is also possible to focus on ancient Scandinavia.

The methods of archaeology are interdisciplinary and contain clear humanistic, social and scientific parts. Archaeology also deals with our expectations and beliefs of the past, how they have been created and used in different periods. Different perspectives come to the forefront in the theoretical frameworks of archaeology. Excavations. visits to museums, excursions and digital spatial analysis also form part of the training.

Archaeology is the study of the human past, primarily from its material remains.

At our Department, in its Uppsala and Visby campuses, archaeology knows only two boundaries: it begins as far back as we can trace what it is to be human, and it ends yesterday. Our archaeology is a big room, with plenty of space for everyone.

We are fascinated by ancient lives, and the social dynamics, technologies, beliefs, identities and interactions that drove them. We explore past peoples' entangled relationships with their environment. We are interested in the complex interplay of material culture and text. We investigate the history of our discipline, how we came to work in the ways we do. We are engaged in how we think about the past, and how its study is inevitably rooted in the present.

With nearly sixty research and teaching staff in Archaeology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Egyptology and Osteology, we are one of Europe's largest departments in our field and offer explicitly global perspectives on the past. In the Archaeology section, although our researchers have interests spanning many times, places and themes, our core specialist competence embraces the prehistory of Scandinavia, historical archaeology in its broadest sense, indigenous archaeology, and the archaeologies of Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. We are research leaders in GIS and the innovations of digital heritage, in landscape historical ecology and bioculture, and in forging new understandings of global environmental history.

We believe in an ethical study of the past as something that informs and illuminates our most urgent contemporary concerns, placed at the heart of planning for better futures. Our work is accessible not only to the academic community, but also beyond the university.

Please browse our web pages that extend our exploration of the human past to cover the globe. Whether as a potential or current student, researcher, collaborator or member of the public, we know you'll find something of interest in the long human story.

Why should I choose Archaeology?

Frands Herschend, professor of Archaeology explains the BA program's Archaeology-direction