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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A: Archaeology

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Dr Elizabeth DeMarrais 

I am an external Director of Studies for Archaeology. My research focuses on the archaeology of South America, but I am also interested in theory and historical archaeology. I have recently started a new project researching the relationships between indigenous people and English settlers on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA.

What's special about Archaeology at Cambridge? 

Archaeology is an incredibly broad discipline, using techniques ranging from the study of art and languages, to social theories and archaeological science techniques (such as ancient DNA analysis) to reconstruct the human past.

Archaeologists look at the whole sweep of human history, excavating sites to recover evidence that tells about ancient diets, rituals, symbolic systems, and more. The Department of Archaeology in Cambridge is among the largest and most diverse in Europe; its staff work on almost every continent. Additional specialities include Archaeological Science, Heritage, and Egyptology and Assyriology, alongside the choice of either Archaeology or Biological Anthropology. Most of our students participate in fieldwork during their undergraduate years.

How does Murray Edwards College support its Archaeology students?

The College provides supervision by experts in the field, alongside a well-stocked library and regular meetings with your Director of Studies.

What do you enjoy most about working at Murray Edwards College? 

I am an external Director of Studies, based primarily in Churchill College, but the 'Colleges on the Hill' have close relationships, which allows students in different Colleges to meet and work together. Murray Edwards students are often supervised alongside Churchill College students, building friendships and collegiality within the subject group.