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Department of Archaeology

Visual and Material Culture


Artefacts are a uniquely powerful and immediate way to access the past for both academics and the public. Through analysis they reveal a uniquely detailed picture of the past and as a mnemonic, they quickly convey complex ideas and information to all who view them. Within the department of Archaeology at Durham we study a large range of artefacts from stained glass windows and Saxon crosses to ceramics, embroideries and pins. They come from across time; Palaeolithic to the early modern world, and space; Tibet to Iceland. We study them using a wide range of techniques and approaches, from Scanning Electron Microscopy and stable isotope analysis to typology and fragmentation.