Archaeology Department Alumni

Welcome back to the department!

Our Alumni community


As a former student or member of staff at the University of Sheffield, your relationship with the Department of Archaeology doesn’t end when you graduate. You will join an international community of Sheffield Archaeology alumni, working in a wide range of careers including commercial Archaeology, academia, financial services, the media, healthcare, IT, journalism, teaching and law.

Wherever you are in the world, it is highly likely that there is a Sheffield Archaeology graduate not far away. We have a global network of alumni consisting of over 3,200 individuals.  An Archaeology degree is one of the most multi-disciplinary and transferable qualifications – reflected in the diverse ways in which our alumni are continuing to make a difference to the world when they leave us. Many of our graduates are creating impact across all sectors- both public and private, and many are leaders and specialists in their professions- both in the UK and abroad. Many graduates have remained in Archaeology, either in a commercial or academic role- directly using their archaeology skills all over the world.

Wherever they are and whatever they do with their Sheffield Archaeology studies- we are exceptionally proud of our alumni community and they remain valued and celebrated ambassadors for the department.

Keep in touch

We are always interested to hear what our graduates are up to and are constantly looking for ways to help people keep in touch with the department and each other. If you have any ideas or news that you would like to share please email and we will be in touch.

To update your contact details, look for old friends, and offer to help current and prospective students visit the University Alumni page.  If you now live in the United States, Sheffield in America can help you keep in touch with Sheffield and with other alumni.

Update your contact details         

Sheffield in America

I always wanted to be an archaeologist. When I left school, I chose to study at Sheffield. I have never regretted that decision. The exceptional teaching transformed my vision of the discipline and, together with the invaluable excavation and laboratory experience, gave me the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in archaeology.

Ben roberts, curator of the european bronze age collections, the british museuM

Since graduation, I have I set up a small photographic business, specialising in archaeological and heritage subjects, and I also undertake freelance project management. I have travelled all over the country photographing conferences, community events and excavations.

Sarah Cole, Owner of Sarah cole photography

Stay involved

There are a number of ways you can continue to be involved with the department and the University after you graduate.  Alumni involvement makes a real difference to our current students.

Alumni Volunteering

Charlotte Howsam, Sheffield Alumni, runs a session on finds processing for current students.

As well as sharing with us your news, there are a wide range of volunteering opportunities and events available at the University and the Department of Archaeology.  These include e-mentoring current students, taking part in our annual Careers Week activities and delivering skills workshops.

Our current students can learn a lot from your knowledge and experiences and this is a great way for you to develop your own skills while remaining involved and in touch with the department and the University.

Visit the University's alumni volunteering pages to find out more about what alumni volunteering involves, current opportunities and to register as a volunteer.

Alumni volunteering opportunities

Careers Week

Each year in late October, the Archaeology Department holds a Careers Week is held for our current Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.  A number of alumni who have gone on to work in sectors inside and outside of the sector play a vital part in this week by talking to our current students about their experiences.  If you would like to be involved in future Archaeology Department Careers Weeks, please contact the organiser of the event, Colin Merrony.

I took a BA in Archaeology at Sheffield, then worked in education and community outreach for Clifton Park Museum and for Creswell Crags. I am now studying for a PhD in Education. Moving to a different department and Faculty has really impressed on me how useful and transferable my archaeology degree has been.

abigail hackett, department of education, university of sheffield

A careers talk

A finds processing session during careers week

The value I took from my time at the department influenced and assisted my career in a positive way, and continues to actively support my professional development.

Rebecca Pullen, English Heritage

Employer-student networkingAlumni profile: Samantha Stein

After I finished my MSc in geoarchaeology and PhD in landscape, palaeoenvironmental, and geoarchaeology at Sheffield, I was approached by Trent and Peak Archaeology to fill the role of geoarchaeologist.   I worked there for 3 years, and I worked on a wide range of very interesting sites, including the Roman Fort at Derby, the estuarine sediments near Spurn Head, a Roman Camp in the Trent Valley, palaeochannels in the Thames Valley, the Palaeolithic site at Bradgate Park and Mesolithic, Neolithic, and medieval sites in Lincoln.  I also worked on several research projects while at Trent and Peak, including the Palaeochannels of the Trent Catchment project, and the East Midlands Research Framework Environmental Database.

More recently, I have been working at Historic England, filling the post of Assistant Science Advisor for the South West. In this role, I am able to have a hand in guiding archaeological science that is done throughout the region, and advice on best practice and developing achievable research aims in all areas of archaeology, from commercial to academic to community.  I am currently working on many sites around the coast and within national parks in the south west.

I am also still acting as a part-time research assistant in the Department of Geography at the University, where I focus on commercially commissioned optically stimulated luminescence, particularly on archaeological sites. I also am a part-time falconer, part-time film extra, and am consistently trying to catch up with report writing!

I would encourage current students to not be constrained by their current course, and seek out information about what they are most interested in! Don’t be afraid of doing any commercial work, no matter what level you graduated at. It is also essential to keep volunteering on site and in the lab, and in whatever interests you, even if you don’t think you have the time. During my studies, I got involved with several other projects outside of the university, and outside my areas of research, and just meeting a new network of people can be the difference between an interview and no interview. Also, remember that all archaeologists know each other. No matter how obscure the conference, or how many continents away you are, they almost definitely know the same people that you do. So make friends with everyone!

Legacy donations

The Pamela Staunton LegacyPamela Staunton

A legacy donation was received in 2016 from Sheffield Archaeology alumnus Pamela Staunton.  Following a varied career in nursing and teaching and having worked abroad for many years,  Pamela completed a Masters degree in Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in the early 1990's and following this she went on to do archaeological research in the Dronfield area and was a member of the Hunter Archaeological Society.  Pamela's legacy donation supports the department's work in a number of ways, specifically related to areas of archaeology in which Pamela herself had a particular background and interest.  Her legacy supports the following:

  • 2 Masters scholarships per year for recent graduates of Sheffield's Archaeology undergraduate degrees
  • The establishment of a new research centre the Sheffield Centre for the Archaeology of Childhood
  • Supporting research and archaeological projects in the areas of medicine & health, children and childhood, industrial archaeology and archaeology of the local region.

The Robert Kiln LegacyRobert Kiln

Robert Kiln was an insurance underwriter by profession, however archaeology was his passion.  His energy and enthusiasm for the discipline was manifold.  In 1965 he received a Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the London Institute of Archaeology and, following an honorary lectureship at the University of Durham, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.  In 1990 the University of Sheffield conferred the honour of Doctor of Letters upon him.

For more than 20 years Mr Kiln was virtually the sole private sponsor of amateur archaeology in Britain.  He made a critical contribution in the formative years of RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust.  Along with Magnus Magnusson, he began the British Archaeological Awards and currently the Robert Kiln Trust sponsors the Pitt Rivers Award.  His benefaction encouraged the highest standards of excavation fieldwork among independent and amateur archaeologists.

Current research continues in the Department of Archaeology at Sheffield through the kind generosity of the Robert Kiln Trust.  Mr Kiln's son Stephen (a Sheffield alumnus, 1977), is one of its active trustees.  In addition to the Robert Kiln Scholarship the University also awards the Robert Kiln Prize in Landscape and Aerial Archaeology, due to the Trust's generosity.  The Trust has also supported the Palaeopathology Laboratory, the refurbishment of the Landscape Archaeology Laboratory, now named the Robert Kiln Laboratory in honour of its generous sponsor, and has provided geophysical survey tools for the Department.

The Peter Glover LegacyPeter Glover

A graduate of the Department of Archaeology, Peter Glover was passionate about archaeology and history throughout his life.  He enjoyed travelling the world and was particularly fascinated with sites of the Mediterranean and classical worlds.  His modes of transport were sometimes unconventional - he reached New Zealand aboard a cargo ship, sleeping on deck across the Pacific.

A man of many interests, Peter had a great love of military and naval history, building miniature models that recrreated famous battles throughout ancient and medieval history.  He was keenly interested in mosaics, forming a group that created public art works for the promenade along the sea fron of Borth, his local town in Wales and for the Borth Railway Station.  

Peter was a much beloved personality in his hometown, and cared deeply about Borth and its community life.  He served on the town council for many years, san in the local Borth choir, taught in the primary school and was active in a host of local groups.  Peter's generous legacy has enabled the Department of Archaeology to purchase fossil cast specimens for osteology teaching, funded numerous study trips for current students and most recently, has contributed, along with the University Alumni Fund, to the department's purchase of cutting edge digital scanning equipment.

More about donations

The Artec Spider being used by a studentThe Alumni Fund

In 2016, the department was very pleased to be awarded a grant from the Alumni Fund which allowed the purchase of two Artec 3D scanners and the required IT hardware to scan and process 3D data.  The Alumni Fund donation enabled the department to incorporate state-of-the-art technology for recording and archiving archaeological resources in a digital format into our teaching and research.  Two scanners were purchased - The Artec Eva structured light scanner is capable of very quickly scanning medium to large objects, and the Artec Spider blue light scanner allows detailed scanning of smaller objects.  Therefore, we are now able to produce 3D surface models of small archaeological objects such as human and animal teeth or ceramic and lithic artefacts within the department, as well as large animal skulls and bones, pots and large artefacts, and even excavation units or building foundations. These scanners therefore enable a variety of field and lab-based research applications for data recording and archiving of complex archaeological field and laboratory data.

The scanners are now being incorporated into teaching and used for dissertation research across a number of our Masters programmes including the MSc Palaeoanthropology, Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology, Osteoarchaeology, and Cultural Materials. In addition, the equipment now allows us to introduce some new aspects of 3D technologies to practical modules on the relevant undergraduate programmes.  In 2017 undergraduate workshop/practical class using the Artec scanners will be form part of the Level 2 module Archaeology Matters. Once trained in using this technology, the students on this module will work on a project related to Sheffield Castle using the scanner to present artefacts from excavations.

One of the recent departmental PhD graduates has initiated a project using the scanners to produce a 3D scan archive of the department’s non-human primate and adult human skeletal materials and to begin this process on subadult bones. These scans will be used in future teaching and research activities, and contribute to the preservation of the department’s important and valuable skeletal collections. In addition, a recent MSc Funerary Archaeology and Human Osteology student completed a pilot study with the Worcester Royal Infirmary to test the value of using 3D scan models of material held in their collection to examine aspects of pathology and cut mark damage on human bone.

Coordenadas positioning toolUse of the 3D scannerThe new Artec scanners will also contribute to future research developments on existing departmental projects, including the highly successful Rothwell Charnel Chapel project and the Thornton Abbey Black Death mass grave excavation.  For example, we are now able to offer UG and PGT students the option to undertake dissertation projects to produce and evaluate detailed virtual models for different aspects of these sites that will contribute to both research outcomes and public dissemination and engagement.  This allows the department to develop a unique set of cutting-edge research and training experiences for students at all levels, providing our graduates with excellent training and practical skills for future involvement in archaeological research.

An Imaging in Research Showcase will be held in Spring 2017, showcasing departmental staff and postgraduate research projects using the new Artec 3D scanners as well as other 2D and 3D imaging technology - microscopy, CT scans, radiography and photogrammetry.  This event will to promote the existing research using various kinds of imaging technology, to stimulate further collaboration, and to discuss future developments in teaching and training in these important imaging techniques in archaeology.

Scholarships / prizes

Each year, a number of prizes set up through alumni donations are awarded to the department's current students.  These awards allow the department to recognise the outstanding work and academic performance of the awardees, and provide those students with a valuable accolade to add to their CV. 

The Kay Harvey Prize and the Emily Willey Prize are prizes in memory of former students of the department.  Most recently, the Christopher Fernie Book Prize was established from a donation by former student Christopher.  Each year, the Robert Kiln prize in Landscape Archaeology, a prize established in memory of an honorary graduate of the department, Robert Kiln, is awarded to the best student dissertation in Landscape Archaeology and a Robert Kiln scholarship is awarded each year to a Masters student on the MA Landscape Archaeology programme.

Careers Support for Alumni

As a graduate of the University and the Department of Archaeology you can benefit from the ongoing careers support on offer.

This includes:

  • access to the Careers Service including current vacancies for three years after you graduate
  • skills development and events, business support at University of Sheffield Enterprise
  • up-to-date information about research funding opportunities and relevant job adverts

As a department we have strong relationships with other organisations such as commercial archaeology units, museums, heritage organisations and more - who offer their own support for development and careers you can take advantage of.

The University Careers Service

Over 50 Years of the Department of Archaeology

The First Departmental Building - 3 Clarkehouse Road 1977

In 2014, the department celebrated its first 50 years.  The occasion was marked by a lecture series and a celebration event attended by many alumni and ex-staff of the department.

Pictures of the 50th anniversary celebrations

The new faunal Lab, Clarkehouse Road, 1978-9 - Graham Mountenay Judy Cartledge