Department of Archaeology

Archaeology researches the past by focusing on the material traces left behind by human societies and communities. The discipline focuses on both the prehistoric and historical periods, and its methods include e.g. archaeological excavations and other types of field work. This research often combines different perspectives from the natural sciences and the humanities.

At the University of Turku, the Department of Archaeology is a research and teaching unit that focuses on archaeological cultural heritage. Our research centres around the Iron Age and recorded history, and we conduct our research mostly in Finland and the Baltic Sea region. Our department is also an active participant in research that focuses on the medieval era of the City of Turku. In addition, our archaeological activities utilise methods that stem from the natural sciences.

Our teaching is designed to develop the archaeologically oriented thinking of our students. Our teaching provides deep insight into the methods and theories behind the research conducted in the field, the most crucial of which are the skills related to multidisciplinary work practices and cultural heritage work. We tailor our teaching contents to meet the needs of each and every student. Our teaching provides an excellent basis for working in the cultural heritage sector and in various fields that are related to culture. Many of our graduates have also become successful entrepreneurs.

Our teaching focuses on a variety of topics: for example, we provide an overall view into Finland’s prehistoric and historic eras and the related archaeological source materials; we teach students how to plan and conduct field work by arranging courses on archaeological surveys and excavations; and we also arrange and host various special courses. The department’s four-person staff is responsible for teaching. In addition, the department plays host to a large group of project researchers and grantees.

Vare is the student organisation for students of archaeology at the University of Turku. Vare arranges a multitude of different recreational events for students, in addition to various research and hobby-related activities.