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Is the Study of Archaeology at Risk?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND—University of Sheffield historian Michael Braddick writes in The Guardian that the discovery of Richard III in the parking lot at the former site of Greyfriars was a testament to "the power of archaeological techniques." The demonstration, he says, stands in stark contrast to university archaeology departments in the U.K., which are suffering from lack of undergraduate interest and, thus, funds. He laments that, given recent shifts in the U.K.'s education policy, the study of archaeology and certain languages, such as Russian, German, and Portuguese, will likely be scaled back in the future. "A likely outcome of this is that there will be reduction in national capacity in archaeology, and particularly in expensive archaeological science," Braddick opines. "We will all be the poorer for that."