Archaeology at Reading is at the forefront of social and scientific research on issues of major cultural and environmental importance. In total, 97% of our research overall is judged to be world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised(1), and we are ranked in the top 10 UK universities for Archaeology(2). The Department has highly active research clusters, a vibrant seminar programme and an internationally engaged staff. We welcome research proposals on a wide range of topics. Our expertise spans the Palaeolithic of Europe to the medieval period, and regions of the world including the UK, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, South America and China. At Reading you will have access to a wide range of dedicated laboratories and advanced scientific facilities, research collections and training in the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science and across the University. Support includes supervisory expertise, training and facilities for research on: palaeoclimate and human-environment interactions, mobility, diet, health, palaeopathology and the life course, zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, buildings archaeology, studies of material culture, identity, and past ritual and religion.
MAIN AREAS OF RESEARCH
Archaeology research at Reading is nurtured through research clusters that enable and support interdisciplinary engagement across themes, projects and regional studies. Each of the research clusters combines Reading's special strengths in scientific and social archaeology in order to address major issues of contemporary concern.
Landscape, climate and lived environment (LCLE)
The LCLE cluster unites our distinctive strengths in palaeoclimate with multi-proxy examinations of human-environment interactions, landscapes, human responses to climate change, ecological impacts of colonisation and lived experience in rural and urban built environments.
Diet, health and life course (DHLC)
The DHLC cluster explores the intersections between diet, health and life course to understand lived experience and wellbeing in the past. Specific research areas include: diet and food as expressions of identity, life history and health, the individual and group experience of illness, disability and mobility and migration, and the biology of the life course.
Objects, materials and people (OMP)
The OMP cluster takes forward an integrated approach to the study of past material culture, exploring the relationships between objects and people and developing materials science and experimental archaeology. Specific concerns include the social/economic values of artefacts, production and deposition of objects, mobility and cultural identity, and the representation and display of objects in the contemporary world.
Medieval social archaeology (MSA)
The MSA cluster maximises the critical mass of one of the largest concentrations of medieval archaeologists in the world to address fundamental cultural questions about medieval European societies, from heartland to frontier regions, with interdisciplinary approaches bridging the sciences and humanities.
The cluster is currently leading an international network on medieval religious transformation.
PROGRAMME FEES AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
You can apply for training and studentships from the AHRC South, West and Wales and NERC SCENARIO Doctoral Training Partnerships, and for collections-based research and training.
For information on fees and the University-wide sources of funding available see reading.ac.uk/gs/funding-and-fees
DISCOVER MORE READING.AC.UK/ARCH-PHD
(1) REF, 2014 – Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology: A – Archaeology.
(2) QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2019
Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.