Facilities for students

Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester occupies its own building at the heart of the University campus. We have a set of recently refurbished and very well-equipped laboratories for in-house scientific archaeology teaching and research.

Bone laboratory

Dedicated to the study of animal bones from archaeological sites (zooarchaeology or archaeozoology) and the analysis of human skeletal material. We have a continually improving teaching collection and a research reference collection of more than 650 specimens.

Environmental laboratory

Dedicated to the analysis of plant macro-remains from archaeological sites (archaeobotany or paleoethnobotany), with additional facilities for pollen, shells etc. It consists of purpose-built work and storage space, microscopes, a substantial reference collection of seeds, cereals and fruits (ca. 1,500 taxa). It also houses a large collection of identification manuals, including digital access to the Plant Atlas.

Osteology research laboratory

Research materials available include:

  • More than a hundred 18th/19th century human skeleton
  • Sixty Roman human skeletons
  • Casts to assist in the identification of age, sex and ancestry

Materials laboratory

This lab houses our ceramic reference and teaching collections including Iron Age and Roman pottery. Some items were discovered local by University of Leicester Archaeological Services; other are on loan from major museum collections.

A pottery wheel and small kiln are available for the experimental production and firing of pots and two furnaces for experimental work. It also holds an extensive lithics collection containing replicas and excavated materials, such as scrapers, handaxes, knives and points, ranging from the Upper Paleolithic to the Roman period.

Other facilities include our starch and residue lab, ceramics research lab, µ-XRF laboratory, X-ray laboratory and a wet lab.