Each issue of Archaeology International is a team effort encompassing the breadth of talent and expertise within UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, with staff and students across the three sections – World Archaeology, Heritage, and Archaeological Science – contributing to the journal’s range of content. This 22nd volume of the journal showcases the extent and scope of our current work, but also something of our history and the new directions for the future. Articles in this issue once again demonstrate the truly global scope of research being undertaken at the Institute of Archaeology. These range in theme from the revolutionary importance of storage in first millennium BC Europe, through mass death pits and social organisation in the ancient Near East and the significance of livestock, to the exploration of animal bone assemblages from medieval cess-pits: from an examination of the archaeology and heritage of grand expositions, through the politics of heritage to the challenges of recording religious art in urban China and the historical nature of material from Sudan in the Petrie collections.
As with any institution, the Institute of Archaeology is constantly changing, some colleagues seeking new challenges, whilst there has been a further influx of young talent, leaving the building’s six floors seemingly bursting at the seams. Besides changes in staff, new waves of students and new research initiatives, the year has also brought with it another collection of those we have lost. It may just be a sign of age, but this year’s losses seem to be of a greater magnitude than most with a mix of high achieving former students and inspirational teachers.
The Institute continues to be a hub of academic activity, research seminars happening on most days of the week during term. Members of the Institute are also gearing up to welcome and participate in the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference which will be hosted by the Institute for the first time in December 2019. Volume 23 will feature an extensive review of what promises to be a major event.
Whilst Archaeology International is reliant on the Institute’s members for its content, for the past three years the journal has depended upon the commitment of Jennifer French and Barney Harris, without whom previous issues would not have come to print. In light not only of their experience and their efforts, but also of their continuous input into the editorial process and decision making, we think it only fitting that we recognise them as a crucial part of the editorial team that has brought this volume together. Both are at cross-roads in their career; Barney successfully completing his PhD this year and Jenni’s contract with the Institute is coming to an end. We wish them every success in their future and thank them for the incredible job they have done. Once again, Anastasia Sakellariadi at Ubiquity Press has been continuously on hand supporting the development and delivery of the issue.