Campaign Launched to Save British Archaeology

The Campaign to Save British Archaeology draws on support from across the fields of academia and politics.

A new campaign – the Campaign to Save British Archaeology - has today (27 July 2021) been launched, with the ambition of protecting archaeology across Britain and halting the cultural vandalism inflicted upon university archaeology departments, that the campaign claims puts our shared heritage and Britain's world-class reputation for archaeological expertise at risk.

The campaign’s overall aim is to halt the closure of university archaeology departments across the United Kingdom, and reports three ambitions to support this aim:

  • Demonstrating the importance of archaeology to protecting British and world heritage.

  • Ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of scientific research and development.

  • Inspiring a new generation of archaeologists to address the shortage of skilled workers highlighted by the Government.

Led by archaeology advocate Chris Whitwood, the campaign already counts support from leading figures, including:

  • Professor Howard Williams, Professor of Archaeology, University of Chester

  • Anni Byard, Archaeologist and Small Finds (metalwork) Specialist, Oxford Archaeology

  • Tim Loughton MP, Co-Chair All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group

  • Prof Umberto Albarella, Professor of Zooarchaeology, University of Sheffield

  • Dr Jim Leary, Lecturer in Field Archaeology, University of York

“The closure of world-leading departments of archaeology can only be described as short-sighted." Chris Whitwood, Director of the Campaign to Save British Archaeology.

Chris Whitwood BA (Hons) PGCE MA FRSA, Director of the Campaign to Save British Archaeology, explained:

“The Campaign to Save British Archaeology was launched in 2021 following the threat of proposed compulsory redundancies among Archaeology and Heritage staff in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester and news of the proposed closure of the University of Sheffield Archaeology Department.

“The closure of world-leading departments of archaeology can only be described as short-sighted. At a time when funding for archaeological research and for the heritage sector in general is tight, willingly abdicating the high reputation of British archaeology, facilities and academic knowledge risks the future of countless research projects at sites of tremendous historical importance.

“The UK has long been regarded as a pioneer of archaeological practice and technology, with universities often being at the forefront of new research. We aim to ensure that expertise is safeguarded and passed on for generations to come.

“I am delighted at the level of support this campaign has already secured, and I encourage anyone with an interest in saving British archaeology to visit our website, get in touch and lend a hand to this campaign.”