Director: Prof Audrey Horning
Our research explores the material manifestation of cultural change through time and space. Our members combine innovative scientific methods with theoretically-informed analyses to understand past human experience, bringing together the humanities and the sciences. All members are actively engaged in field and laboratory work, with current projects in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Russia, North America, and throughout Ireland, from prehistory to the present. The cluster is also host to the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF) a leading archaeological research unit carrying out projects on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and other public and private sector bodies. CAF staff are actively involved in research and teaching, and students at all levels benefit from the ample opportunities for hands on experience. Members of the cluster take pride in our student-centred learning, with emphasis on small group teaching and intensive practical education. We offer a range of masters-level teaching capitalising upon our unique blend of scientific and cultural archaeology. We have an active group of research students, and we welcome a wide range of visiting scholars to our seminar series.
Current research projects include People of Prehistoric Ireland, a major-INSTAR funded project to compile and analyse data on human remains from prehistoric Irish sites; a collaborative project with the University of Vienna exploring Hanseatic and English trade in the North Atlantic ; Cultivating Societies, an innovative INSTAR funded project that is reshaping our understanding of the Irish Neolithic; a British-Academy funded project exploring Early Mining in the Lower Segura valley of SE Spain; the INSTAR-funded Early Medieval Archaeology Project synthesising and formulating new directions for understanding early medieval settlement in Ireland; the Templeton-funded Prehistoric Art and Architecture on Malta; the Ballyhanna Research project supported by the National Roads Authority;a multi-institutional collaborative research exploring Native and European relations in the early colonial Chesapeake; a comparative examination of the archaeology of historic emigration from Co Tyrone to Lowell, Massachusetts; and an AHRC-supported Connected Communities project exploring the cultural links between the north of Ireland and the Scottish Isles.
Members of the cluster hold elected leadership positions in international learned societies and organisations, including the Humans and Biosphere Commission of the International Union for Quaternary Research; the Bronze Age Studies Group; the Society for Medieval Archaeology; Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Irish Zooarchaeology Working Group, the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group, the Discovery Programme, and the Royal Irish Academy. Members also serve on the editorial boards of the following journals: Childhood in the Past, Journal of the North Atlantic, Historical Archaeology, Quaternary International, International Journal of Historical Archaeology.
PCC members enjoy interfacing with the public, and sharing the excitement of archaeological research. Community involvement is emphasised in many of our projects, our members work closely with local media, and the cluster also supports a very active branch of the Young Archaeologists Club.