Institute of Archaeology

Location: University College London

Subject: Archaeology

Dates: 1968 – 2013

Related ACE Cultural Tours: Archaeology Tours


Teaching up-to-date archaeological methods and information.

Project History

The Institute of Archaeology was established in 1937 and is now one of the largest archaeology departments in the world and part of University College London. It hosts its own archaeology library as well as numerous laboratories. The institute has over 70 specialist staff who are actively involved in original, current research. Also on site is the Centre for Applied Archaeology, which specialises in field research, training and contract archaeology.

Project & ACE

The ACE Foundation has a long standing relationship with the Institute of Archaeology and has sponsored an annual fellowship for postgraduate students since 1968. The ACE Foundation funds overseas students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to study in such privileged conditions. The idea behind the scholarship is to give young professionals the opportunity to acquire advanced archaeological techniques, enabling them to return to their home countries and set up conservation laboratories or initiate programmes employing laboratory techniques in palaeoecology or other forensic aspects of archaeological investigation. Between 1968 and 1996, eighteen students enjoyed this facility before the arrangement eventually lapsed, happily to be re-established in 2006.

Students’ specialisms have ranged from research into the domestication of pigs to prehistoric pottery. Although it has not been possible to trace the subsequent careers of all our students, a number have made significant contributions to the life of professional archaeology in Europe.

Athanasia Kanta (1968) has for many years been an influential scholar in the Greek government team operating on Crete. Lucia Vagnetti (1970) works at the Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltà dell’Egeo e del Vicino Oriente in Rome and undertakes physical and chemical analyses of artefacts as part of an interest in long-distance trade. Dr Ivan Mirnik (1974) is currently senior research scientist at Zagreb Museum. Renato Nisbet (1978), an archaeobotanist, has, over the last thirty years, conducted research mainly on the history of Holocene forests and early agriculture of Northern Italy, as well as in the near East. He has also directed excavations in the Western Italian Alps. Rajka Makjanic (1986) is a Roman specialist who has worked in Ghana, and was for some time associated with the publishing venture Archaeopress in Oxford, having been a joint author of the 1994 celebration volume for British Archaeology Reports. Berrin Kusatman (1987) died tragically only six years after finishing the London course. By that time she had established herself as an accomplished zooarchaeologist, working mainly in Turkey. Dr Umberto Albarella (Italy, 1989) is another zooarchaeologist whose career success from the Sheffield archaeology teaching department has involved him in high-profile research and publishing projects throughout Western Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond. Evangelia Kiriatzi (1990) is now Director of the Fitch Laboratory in the British School at Athens, where her scientific work supports a varied research programme. Lydia Zapata-Pena (1991) teaches environmental archaeology at the University of the Basque Country. Lorenc Bejko (1992) has been Director of the Albanian Rescue Archaeology Unit since it was founded in 1999. And Eva Panagiotakoupolu (1996-7) is currently an archaeocoloeopterist working from the University of Sheffield on a variety of high profile investigations into the origins and spread of plagues and other illnesses in antiquity.

We continue to support one student a year and are looking into ways of further enhancing the relationship between the institute and ourselves.