From Stonehenge to Petra: How the University of Bradford is helping uncover heritage secrets around the world

A university in Yorkshire has launched a new scheme to help tackle a national shortage in archaeologists.

From exploring world heritage sites in places like Petra in Jordan, to Stonehenge, or scanning the bottom of the North Sea - those enrolling on a new University of Bradford scheme could end up working on archaeological sites across the globe.

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The launch of the new Bachelor of Arts degree in archaeology, follows on from the institution’s 40-plus years of world-leading expertise in the subject, including leading finds like the famous Stonehenge Durrington Pits discovery, reported by The Yorkshire Post.

The full moon sets behind Stonehenge on April this year in Amesbury, England. Photo credit: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

One of the largest prehistoric sites in the UK was discovered near Stonehenge by a consortium of archaeologists led by the University of Bradford last year.

The course will focus on how heritage remains are investigated and the cultural impact such findings have on society.

This will include understanding the relevance of bones, bodies and burials, human, plant and animal remains, field recording skills, understanding landscapes and climate, and prehistoric cultures.

Dr Adrian Evans, from the University of Bradford, who has worked archaeological sites all around the world, including in Cambodia, Peru and Jordan, said: “Students could end up on all manner of archaeological sites, from unearthing a Bronze Age chariot in a field off the A1 to working in places like Petra, Jordan."

Pictured, the University of Bradford. The West Yorkshire institute has launched a new scheme to help address a national shortage in archaeologists. Photo credit: JPIMedia

He added: “Archaeology has an enduring appeal because people are curious; they like to figure out where they fit in the world. There’s a reality to it but also a disconnection which allows people to dream about what’s possible.

The role of people in the past – their belief systems, ways of living, relationships and identities, and why this is valuable today, will also be explored in the programme.

Dr Karina Croucher, the programme lead for the new BA course, said the course was "much needed" to help address a national shortage in archaeologists.

Dr Croucher, a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, in the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “This course has been designed for those with an interest in modern perceptions of heritage and its management.

Pictured, Dr Adrian Evans, from the University of Bradford, working on site at Petra in Jordan. Submitted picture

"It’s about interpreting data sets created in this multidisciplinary subject and using them to push our understanding and uses of heritage."

She added: "We’re also recognising the growth of heritage as a field in archaeology.

"We have strengths in this area and because we’ve been running courses for over 40 years, we have a depth of knowledge and level of expertise which creates a unique and relevant offering.”

The course, which has the option of a three or four year pathway, with a work placement year for those on the longer course, will also look at the heritage of different world religions (such as Islam and Christianity) and how these are relevant for populations from around the world.

Pictured, Dr Karina Croucher, a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, in the Faculty of Life Sciences, from the University of Bradford. Photo credit: Submitted picture

It will challenge students to think differently about the world, playing an active role in shaping the future of the planet, including debates on identity, migration and climate change.

For information about the new course, you can sign up to a one-hour webinar on 25 May here, and the university will also be holding open days in June.

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