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Archaeology Matters

University Archaeology Day 2017

UCL archaeologists, with support from the CBA, are working with experts from 24 other universities to create the UK’s first University Archaeology Day, aimed at inspiring a much needed next generation of archaeologists.

Students on a dig c.UCL

Figures released by Historic England last year, revealed that 3,000 people are currently employed in commercial archaeology in England, and that this will need to grow by a minimum of 25% over the next six years to meet demand. 

“Archaeologists are expected to be in more demand than ever, because of a huge surge in infrastructure projects across the UK. Growing demand, along with the recent loss of the A-level in the subject, has sparked a renewed effort to publicise the exciting opportunities the discipline offers to graduates.” said Dr Andrew Gardner (UCL Institute of Archaeology).

“Archaeologists play a vital role in historical enquiry, through the recovery and analysis of physical remains. By examining historical sites, structural remains, bones, tools and other artefacts, archaeologists seek to create new understandings of the past, and a fascinating glimpse into the future.” added Dr Gardner.

Despite the recent focus on infrastructure, the career opportunities for archaeologists extend far beyond the construction industry, and there are great prospects even beyond the archaeology field.

“One of the great advantages of archaeology is that it is truly multidisciplinary, making it a great entry-point to lots of other graduate careers. Students study the latest scientific techniques, along with sophisticated approaches from the humanities and social sciences.” added Dr Gardner.

“The research-focused learning alongside the practical aspects of archaeology, including fieldwork around the world, provide students with a unique set of skills. Many archaeology graduates find careers in commercial and public archaeology, heritage management, museum curation, the Civil Service, and education.” said co-organiser Charlotte Frearson (UCL Institute of Archaeology).

Lewis Glover obtained a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and is now a Diplomat at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving as Political Attaché at the UK Mission to the UN in New York.

“I always knew I wanted to do something that had an impact on people. So, a degree studying people and the way we, past and present, live our lives was quite an easy choice.

It gave me skills in communication, in research into a wide variety of information sources, and the understanding of how to work with people from different cultural backgrounds.” said Lewis.

The University Archaeology Day is taking place at the UCL main campus on Thursday 22 June 2017. It will showcase the wide range of skills and careers the subject can open up for graduates.  There will be an exhibition hall showcasing degree courses across the UK, and a programme of talks and activities on everything from Easter Island to Stonehenge, and Bronze Age combat to climate change. 

University Archaeology Day 2017 is supported by the Council for British Archaeology, University Archaeology UK, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

For further information, and to sign up for the event, visit: http://bit.do/uad2017.

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