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Coloured text reading 'RESEARCH DIALOGUES 2023-24'

RESEARCH DIALOGUES is a competitive award that supports Durham Archaeology postgraduate researchers to lead workshops, symposia, seminar series or other stimulating events on timely and relevant topics.

Two proposals for events are selected per year and the leaders are awarded a £500 toward an event held in the course of the academic year. If needed, further financial support can added through applications to other university research centres, colleges and external learned societies. 

Our two Research Dialogues projects this year include:

Trash and Floors: Microscopic Exploration of Prehistoric Daily Life

4-5 May 2024
Durham University Department of Archaeology, Dawson Building room D133

This workshop is for all early career and established researchers who are interested in using micromorphology and phytolith analysis to investigate daily activities in ancient societies. It includes keynote presentations by Dr. Wendy Matthews (Reading University) and Prof. Lisa-Marie Shillito (Newcastle University) and microscope sessions. Participants joining the microscope sessions are encouraged to bring along their relevant thin sections.

If you are interested in attending the keynote presentations or the microscope sessions, please register before 31st of March. To register or for any questions please contact Siyu Lin ( and Felicitas Ruschel (

For the programme and updates please see our website.

Poster advertising Trash and Floors workshop

Jealous Laws: a conference on collecting, studying and managing antiquities in the Ottoman Mediterranean during the long 19th Century

17 May 2024, 09:00-18:00
Durham University Department of Archaeology, Dawson Building room D110

To register, please complete this form

Many modern institutions, especially those from the Global West, trace the origins of their disciplines to this era of profound socio-political transformation especially following Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt and Syria which transformed West Asia into a popular target for tourists, antiquarians, historians, and archaeologists. A close examination of the activities and attitudes of these ‘intellectual antecedents,’ within the context legislative frameworks – sometimes explicitly stated otherwise implicitly inferred – allows for the conceptualisation of the motives behind 19th century antiquarian and archaeological scholarship.

This is a vital dimension to explore considering the hereditary nature of cultural heritage management, which has unfortunately been neglected in traditional historiographies. Alongside this, local interest and agency might invariably be misconstrued if scholars do not acknowledge the historical and legal context in which their predecessors operated, and instead focus on their socio-academic backgrounds. Indeed, a failure to highlight the impact of the antiquities laws, such as those which appeared in Greece and the Ottoman Empire during the latter part of the 19th century, unfairly characterises this period of dynamism and change as one of inertia and stagnation.

This conference brings together leading scholars from the disciplines of history, archaeology, art history, and cultural studies in order to reflect upon the genesis of their respective disciplines at an individual and legal level.

Key note speaker: Edhem Eldem, Boğaziçi University

Other speakers include:

  • Thomas Kiely, British Museum
  • Artemis Papatheodorou, Harvard University
  • Anna Reeve, University of London
  • Sebastian Marshall, Doctoral Candidate, Cambridge University
  • Alexandra Solovyev, Doctoral Candidate, Oxford University

Also supported by the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East (CAMNE), the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS), the Durham Centre for Cultural Heritage Protection and GRAD (Graduate Research Archaeology at Durham).

Poster advertising the Jealous Laws conference. Background image shows a stone bearded figure holding an animal.

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Our Department of Archaeology is a leading centre for the study of archaeology and is ranked10th in the world (QS World University Rankings by subject 2023). We are an inclusive, vibrant and international community. Our students develop knowledge and gain essential and transferable skills through research-led teaching and lab-based training.