Skip to main content

Latest News

Steppe Sisters: Supporting women and underrepresented groups in academia

Durham Archaeology staff and students visited the University of York on 21 October to participate in the first annual meeting and lecture of the Steppe Sisters Network.
In person participants at the Steppe Sisters Annual Meeting including Durham Archaeology’s Dr Kristen Hopper (chair of the Steppe Sisters Steering Committee), PhD Student Aiya Raissova (Steppe Sisters Steering Committee Member) and both past (Stefania Fiori) and current (Handegul Canli) visiting staff and students.

Late Prehistoric discovery turns archaeological assumptions on their head

For a team of archaeologists digging in south-west Spain, the discovery of a Bronze/Iron Age stela – a funerary stone slab with carvings depicting an important individual – would have been exciting enough. But to find a stela that challenges long-standing interpretations of how the carvings represent gender and social roles in prehistoric times, was beyond the teams’ wildest dreams.
Image shows when the stela, or stone carving, when it was discovered by the archaeological team in Spain.

New chancellor joins the UNESCO Chair and Redhills for a joint workshop on “Redevelopment in County Durham – Heritage, Climate and the SDGs”

Following the recent “Meet Our Chancellor” session during which Durham University’s Chancellor, Dr Fiona Hill, spoke about 'Regional Redevelopment: Lessons from Germany', she joined the Durham UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage and Redhills CIO in co-hosting a postgraduate workshop on 'Redevelopment in County Durham – Heritage, Climate and the SDGs'. The featured photo shows breakout groups in discussion with Ross Forbes, Fiona Hill and Nicola Craddock.
Groups of people sat in discussion circles in a wooden floored auditorium with black stage curtains.

Boudica: Queen of War reviewed by an expert in the real ancient British ruler

Richard Hingley from our Department of Archaeology was invited to write a review of the recently released film Boudica: Queen of War starring Olga Kurylenko as the title character. Warning: this review contains spoilers for Boudica: Queen of War.
The statue Boadicea and Her Daughters near Westminster Pier, London by Paul Walter - Boudica statue, Westminster

Documentary on Durham academic-led project 'At the Edge of the Mountains' shortlisted at the 2023 Arkhaios Film Festival

A documentary on the project 'At the Edge of the Mountains' was shortlisted at the 11th Annual Arkhaios Film Festival. The Department's Professor Anna Leone leads this Aliph-funded project, located in Tataouine (Tunisia) and Nafusa (Libya).
Under strong golden sunlight are archaeological remains of buildings made of stone, gypsum, and red mud. A cliff and the base of mountains are visible in the distance.

Durham Archaeology PhD Researcher Discovers Palaeolithic Handaxes from Canterbury

A previously unknown assemblage of Palaeolithic handaxes from Canterbury was discovered in a museum archive, by Durham Archaeology PhD researcher Pete Knowles. The assemblage contains one of the world's largest and probably finest examples of a ficron handaxe. The handaxe raises many questions about form and function: why did early Neanderthals need to craft such complex tools?
Brown flint ficron and cleaver handaxes next to a black and white 30cm scale bar.

Revitalising ancient water systems for future resilience within the Kathmandu Valley

This 13 October is the UN’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Professor Robin Coningham and Dr Christopher Davis from our Department of Archaeology explain why sustainable access to water is so important and how Durham is helping.
One of Patan’s many brick-lined tanks (hiti), providing water to communities of the Kathmandu Valley

Celebrating Black Archaeologists

During Black History Month 2023, the Department of Archaeology will be regularly releasing a news item relating to the life and work of a Black archaeologist. Watch this space for more articles as they are released.
 Monochrome photo of a Black woman standing side on to the camera, smiling and wearing an earring and headscarf. In the background is a busy city street.

An extraordinary archaeological discovery in Spain

Durham University Archaeology students have been part of an extraordinary archaeological discovery in Spain.
The stela of Cañaveral de León 3 when it was found

Understanding early human cave art

A psychological phenomenon where people see meaningful forms in random patterns, such as seeing faces in clouds, may have stimulated early humans to make cave art.
A Palaeolithic painting of an aurochs from the cave of La Pasiega. The artist traced the natural cracks in the cave wall when painting the head, horns, and back leg of the animal

From Dunbar to Durham: Walking 95 miles in memory of Scottish POWs forced to march south after the Battle of Dunbar

Archaeology PhD researcher Megan Olshefski completes a 95-mile walk in memory of the 17th century Scottish soldiers forced to march from Dunbar to Durham Cathedral after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar.
A group of smiling people gathered outside the Durham Cathedral doors. Two in the centre are dressed in hiking gear and one holds a bouquet of flowers.

Shared horse and human burials show how deeply the vikings cared for their animal companions

Dr Harriet Evans-Tang, a Post Doctoral Research Associate in our Department of Archaeology, and Dr Keith Ruiter from the University of Suffolk explore the connection between vikings and their horses.
viking carving