Facilities for students

The School of 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

The School of 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.

Osteology research laboratory

Research materials available within this research area include:

  • More than a hundred 18th/19th century human skeletons
  • 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 locally by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services; others are on loan from major museum collections.

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

Microscopy laboratory

Our state-of-the-art microscopy laboratory includes several reflected- and transmitted-light devices, including polarising microscopes, stereomicroscopes and imager microscopes with capacity to analyse stone and metal surfaces from different angles and in a range of light conditions. All our microscopes are digitally connected between themselves and with our Imaging Lab, giving the capacity to share our images and increase the range of techniques of analysis.

Imaging laboratory

This lab includes a thin section scanner and a multi-array platform equipped with the latest microXRF, SEM and EDX technology with capacity for a range of objects and sizes. All our devices are connected to our microscopes via special software; this places us in a unique position to develop interdisciplinary analysis of archaeological materials, since our digital capacities enhance our teaching, by allowing online sharing of work-in-process and finished images.

Portable laboratory

Our Portable laboratory includes a number of devices that can be taken to the field or to museums and archives to extend our reach. Among these devices there are a portable XRF, a Raman microscope and a 3D laser scanner.