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Department of Archaeology

Library and Collections

Our department is situated next to the first-class Bill Bryson Library, which has some of the best archaeological holdings in northern Britain and was recently modernised and extended. Through the Durham University Library, we have access to a vast array of archaeological texts, journals and Durham Research Online, which holds details of articles, chapters and books authored by Durham researchers, as well as all Durham University doctoral dissertations completed after 2009. What's more, the University manages the Durham Cathedral Library and archives, allowing our students and researchers access to medieval manuscripts and documents.

Zooarchaeological Collection

We have a large and extensive zooarchaeological collection consisting of both modern and archaeological mammal and fish specimens. The collection is divided into: a teaching collection consisting of faunal remains catalogued by element, which is regularly used in the large teaching lab to demonstrate the identification and recording of animal remains; and a reference collection, which consists of complete skeletons and is used by students and staff to assist in research projects.

Durham River Wear Collection

The Durham River Wear collection comprises finds, almost all small metal objects, recovered from a submerged riverbed between 2008 and 2012. The objects, which span the late twelfth to the early nineteenth centuries, with an emphasis on the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries, have been described by Dr Christopher Caple as: ‘A major research facility, probably the largest collection of late and post-medieval finds in the North of England: a unique regional/national resource’.

Skeletal collections curated by the Fenwick Human Osteology Laboratory

The Laboratory has a range of resources, including articulated and disarticulated anatomical skeletons and models, age estimation casts, some casts for teaching palaeopathology, measuring equipment, an endoscope, digital X-ray facilities, a radiographic collection, academic papers and books.