York is a centre of research excellence in African archaeology.

Research in the department covers many aspects of the archaeology of eastern Africa, particularly that of historical periods. Significant research themes include landscapes of settlement and agriculture, coastal subsistence and adaptation, urbanism and a broad suite of material culture studies. We also have a strong focus on sustainability and historical ecologies of the African past.

Our research is focused on the relationship between archaeology and landscape, history and material culture. We are also interested in creating usable pasts, drawing out insights for sustainable policy-making and accessible heritage. Particular areas of interest include:

  • Landscapes and sustainability
  • Urbanism and urban lives
  • Craft, production and consumption of material goods

As part of our interdisciplinary approach we work closely with colleagues in the Department of Environment and Geography, the Department of History, York Environmental Sustainability Institute, and the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre. Staff members are active in the York Africa Network, which acts as a hub for Africanist research at the university.