Exploring the past! Understanding the present! Shaping the future!
We are concerned with all aspects of the Historic Environment as evidence of past human activity and its associated consequences that people can find, see, hear, understand, feel, debate, and contest in the present world.
Archaeology involves the systematic study of human cultures through material remains, asking: Who did what? When? Where? How? And Why? Physical and biological Anthropology involves the study of humankind through comparative studies of societies and cultures. Forensic archaeology and anthropology focus on crime-scene investigations and the preparation of evidence for use by courts of law. Heritage, whether cultural or natural, tangible or intangible, focuses on the things inherited from the past that we choose to investigate, document, manage, interpret, use, and represent in various ways.
A-Z of ongoing and recent research projects
Archaeological Investigations Project (AIP): Summary of recorded archaeological work undertaken in England between 1990 and 2010 (Funded by English Heritage)
Black Down Roman Fortlet, Dorset: Excavations at a rectangular enclosure that may have been a Roman fortlet or signal station.
Building Roman Britain: Applying archaeological science to characterise stone and ceramic building materials and explore the contexts within which they were produced.
Cultural and scientific perceptions of chickens: A ‘Science in Culture’ project looking at cultural and scientific perceptions of human-chicken interactions (AHRC Funded)
Dewlish Roman Villa: Excavations directed by Bill Putnam at the Dewlish Roman villa from 1969-1979 inclusive.
Durotriges Project (Big Dig): Excavations and surveys studying the transition from the late Iron Age to the early Roman period in central southern England.
Human Henge: Exploring Stonehenge’s landscape for healing and inspiration.
INEA: Identifying activity areas in Neolithic sites through Ethnographic Analysis of phytoliths and geochemical residues: Studying Neolithic sites in southwest Asia (c 11,700-7800 cal BP) to help understand the social use of space (AHRC Funded).
Knowlton Prehistoric Landscape Project: Excavations and surveys exploring the origins and development of a ceremonial and funereal landscape on Cranborne Chase, Dorset, UK.
Lost voices of Celtic Britain: Looking beyond the tales of magic, wizards and giants see life in later prehistoric and Roman Britain.
MAD about the wreck: Making maritime archaeology accessible to the community through studies of wrecks within and around Poole Harbour, Dorset, UK.
Maltese Temples Landscape Project: Investigating the development, social context, and landscape-setting of Malta’s Neolithic temples through surveys and excavations within and around the World Heritage Site at Skorba.
Mapping the forests of medieval Novgorod, Russia: Archaeological evidence from sites in and around Novgorod, Russia, are being used to map nearby forests and document their exploitation.
Neolithic flint mines: Excavations and analysis of flint flints in Sussex and beyond.
Piltdown Man: The story of the world’s biggest archaeological hoax.
Seeing beneath Stonehenge: Using Google Earth to transport you around the virtual landscape of this magnificent monument (Funded by Google and AHRC).
Swash Channel Wreck: Investigating an early 17th century armed merchantman, probably of Dutch origins, on the seabed outside Poole Harbour, Dorset, UK (Funded by Historic England).
Woolcombe Medieval Settlement: Excavations and surveys undertaken between 1984 and 1997 on a medieval settlement in west Dorset.
Facilities, Collections and Laboratories
Archaeology and Anthropology at BU has access to world class facilities and curates a wide range of collections from archaeological sites across Europe. View details of our collections and access here. Our facilities are managed by our Demonstrator in Anthropology.
Our analytical laboratories have recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, and are superbly equipped with a range of industry-standard equipment. We have the facilities to both prepare and analyse a wide variety of different archaeological materials. Our facilities are managed by our Demonstrator in Analytical and Forensic Sciences, and our Demonstrator in Analytical Facilities.
We have a bespoke store for our extensive archaeological collections. Used for both research and teaching purposes, these are managed by our Demonstrator in Field Archaeology and Collections Management.
We have dedicated forensic laboratories that contain equipment for a wide variety of techniques including blood splatter analysis and forensic photography. Our crime scene training facility is a bespoke building that enables a range of scenes to be recreated including those in a domestic home, a bank, and an illicit drugs laboratory. We also have access to external locations including Bournemouth Airport and Streetwise for larger-scale simulated crime scenes and disaster scenarios. Our facilities are managed and supported by our Demonstrator in Forensic Science.
We have one of the largest collections of specialist archaeological survey equipment of any department in the UK. Our equipment base includes a range of 3D laser scanners, differential GPS, total stations, and remotely piloted aircraft. Our geophysical equipment includes magnetic, electromagnetic, earth resistance, and GPR systems, as well as a variety of cart-based versions of these. We have a dedicated GIS laboratory and 3D printing facilities. The equipment is managed and supported by our full-time technician, Demonstrator in Geomatics, and Demonstrator in Field Archaeology and Collections Management.
Our zooarchaeology laboratory has an impressive reference collection, containing over 500 known specimens predominantly from the UK and north-west Europe, covering everything from cows and wild boar to dogs and rabbits. We also have licenced specimens of rare and endangered species in this collection.
Bournemouth Archaeology: A multi-disciplinary heritage consultancy with a long established reputation for providing heritage planning advice and archaeological services to clients at all stages of the planning process.
Institute for Studies in Landscape and Human Evolution: A BU research Institute that looks at reconstructing both the landscape signals embedded in hominin habitat records, and reconstructing hominin habitats and land use from the Pliocene Epoch through to the present day.
Poole and Purbeck Portal: Online community created by the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University in order to promote a better understanding of our region’s unique natural and heritage assets without compromising progress.