To our dismay, we have now learned that another well-respected archaeology unit is under threat of cuts and closure: the world-renowned Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield.

We have written to the Sheffield Vice-Chancellor and Senior Executive Board and we have expressed solidarity with the staff affected.

The Sheffield situation is different from our own in scale and severity, but we stand with them in solidarity as UK HEIs seem to be using the pandemic as an opportunity for a range of ill-considered purges across subject areas, with history and archaeology clearly in their sights.

Of course, this isn’t just about Chester or Sheffield, we are standing up for other departments that have been downsized or closed in recent years, including Bangor, Hull and Manchester among others.

This isn’t about just archaeology either, it is starting to look as if we are entering a time of crisis for UK archaeology but also for the cognate disciplines of history and heritage too.

So we think the Chester and Sheffield situations together call for a concerted effort to promote our subject against a host of pressures and factors, including attempts to discredit and dismantle the rigorous and critical investigation of the human past to enrich and enhance our present and future.

Thanks to @ZooarchLabSheff for use of the logo!