Research Facilities

The Department of Archaeology is home to a wide-range of scientific research facilities that complements the different active research clusters. While primarily designed for use by the department's research staff, many of these facilities are integral parts of our innovative, research-led teaching.


Archaeomaterials Lab - thumbnail

The Department of Archaeology has a number of dedicated archaeomaterials laboratories where staff and students are able to experimentally recreate and carry out scientific analysis of archaeological materials. These include a dedicated archaeomaterials teaching laboratory, thin sectioning equipment for ceramics, equipment for the mounting and polishing of glass and metal samples, and thin section microscopes.

More information on the department's archaeomaterials facilities.



The department holds a dedicated archaeobotany research area, which includes a variety of advanced microscopes for various forms archaeobotanical research. These include stereoscopes, polarised light microscopes for pollen slides, and motorised microscopes for capturing three dimensional imagery of plant remains. Equally important facilities are the department's extensive plant reference collections including functional ecology, wild seed and crop reference collections.

More details at the Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and Ancient Land-use.



The Department of Archaeology owns substantial laboratories for zooarchaeological research and teaching. In addition to the facilities and equipment, the zooarchaeology lab houses the extensive Tony Legge modern reference collection. This collection greatly facilitates all the activities undertaken by members of the lab, whether those involve research, teaching or consulting.

More information about the department's zooarchaeological research can be found here.


Osteo thin section - thumbnail

The Sheffield Osteology Lab was established in 1972 by eminent surgeon Judson Chesterman, and has since earned an international reputation in bioarchaeology. The lab has an extensive human skeletal reference collection comprising archaeological human bone, modern primates, teaching grade casts of modern humans and fossil hominids, and a series of longitudinal and transverse human and faunal bone thin sections.

More information and the work of the osteology laboratory can be found here

Glover Laboratory for Digital Osteology

pelvis small

Funded through a generous donation from a graduate of the department, Peter Glover, the laboratory provides high-resolution surface scanning and digital radiography facilities that are used for investigating skeletal remains and for capturing three-dimensional images of archaeological artefacts.

The Peter Glover Laboratory.

Kiln Laboratory for Landscape Archaeology

A generous donation from Robert Kiln led to the founding of the Robert Kiln Laboratory for Landscape Archaeology. This provides a dedicated space for landscape archaeology research, including computing facilities for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The laboratory houses an extensive collection of aerial photography images and maps, and large-scale scanner equipment.

Hot and Cold

Also located in Northgate House are a variety of multi-purpose facilities utilised by various research teams in the department. These include ovens, furnaces and kilns used for a range of purposes from firing experimentally produced ceramics to testing the effects of charring on plant remains. The department also contains its own cold-store used, amongst other things, for the long-term preservation environmental samples. Other facilities include a pottery wheel, dedicated wet preparation areas for environmental sampling and find/bone washing, fume cupboards and multi-function teaching laboratories.