Archaeology in the City image

Community archaeology

We believe that the insights and discoveries of our academics should be shared readily with our local communities and the wider world, and we run a programme of events to do just that.

We open up the discovery of the past to the public in our area, helping them get a handle on the history that feeds into their present-day identity. We work with schools and encourage young learners to set their sights high and discover all they can about their culture and themselves.

Community work

Archaeology in the City at Ecclesall Woods

Archaeology in the City

Archaeology in the City is a student-run volunteer outreach programme from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Through this programme, students work with schools and community groups with the aim to make archaeology accessible to everyone in Sheffield (and beyond!).


Excavations, landscape survey and tours of the Redmires WWI training camp are lead by a team of department staff and students, in collaboration with lecturers and students from the Department of Lifelong Learning. These excavations focus on an area of rough grassland to the west of the city of Sheffield which is densely packed with the remains of trenches and other military features constructed by men preparing for active overseas service. Sheffield undergraduates work alongside Foundation Year students on this excavation, which has featured in a range of community-facing activities including guided tours as part of the Festival of Arts and Humanities.

In my spare time I am part of a local volunteer group who have received funding from Sheffield City Council to launch Sheffield's first archive of feminist history. This archive contains physical artefacts and oral histories. During my time in Sheffield studying Archaeology I was involved in many community outreach projects in Sheffield and on my ERASMUS exchange in Sweden, where I learned that it isn't just academics who "own" the past; it really belongs to the community. This has really stayed with me since I graduated and has inspired me to become involved in community projects and to encourage others to do the same and to take ownership of their heritage.

Emma Nagouse

BA Archaeology, Ma european Historical archaeology

An Archaeology Matters student working with the community

Archaeology Matters

Archaeology Matters is a core module for our second year single honours students (and optional for dual honours). Students work alongside local community groups to develop their research skills and understanding of the cultural, ethical and professional contexts of archaeological research and heritage conservation, through a collaborative field project.

A participant in the Dig It project

Dig It!

'Dig It!' is a programme run by the Department of Archaeology to provide local school students with the opportunity to try out a range of practical archaeological techniques and make contributions to our research. Currently, Dig It! is part of a Departmental project in Firth Park, Sheffield, which is investigating the evidence for a Victorian bandstand.

Bring the past to life

Students building a roundhouse in the Peak District

These are just a few examples of how we live out our belief in sharing archaeology with local communities. We hope you share that belief. Join our department and you won't just discover the past: you'll bring it back to life. You'll make it meaningful to an audience that extends way beyond the lab and the lecture hall.

This makes studying archaeology at the University of Sheffield a uniquely rewarding and absorbing experience. If you go on to build a career in bringing heritage to the public – in a museum, with historic buildings, as an archivist, or wherever – it'll give you a handy boost in the job market too.

Contact us
Visit us at an Open day

Community archaeology at Sheffield