Devastated staff reject decision to close University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology

The decision to shut down the Department of Archaeology by the University of Sheffield has been rejected by the staff, who now have vowed to keep fighting for the survival of the department.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 2:21 pm

University of Sheffield, has earlier today, proposed to close the world-renowned department, making the rest of the staff redundant.

According to the staff and students who are affected by the change, the decision is not yet final until it is elaborated by the university senate next month.

In a statement, they said: "Today we were informed that the University Executive Board is proposing to close the Department of Archaeology by moving two areas into other departments and making the rest of the staff redundant.

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Supporters gathered on Tuesday to protest possible closure of Department of Archaeology

"As a department we unanimously reject this decision, and the grounds upon which it was made. It would mean the end of Archaeology at Sheffield.

"The proposal will be considered by the University Senate on June 23 before a final decision is taken by the University Council on July 12, and we pledge to continue to fight our case for the importance of a well-resourced Department of Archaeology at Sheffield."

Council for British Archaeology have also expressed their disappointment over the proposed closure, and asked supporters to keep signing the petition that has racked up almost 35,000 signatures.

Describing the decision as a "massive blow" in a series of tweets using #SaveSheffieldArchaeology, they said: "The archaeology department contributes immensely to archaeological research and loss of this expertise will be devastating.

"University of Sheffield graduates have underpinned approaches to commercial archaeology in the UK for the last 30 years.

"At a time when commercial archaeology needs new employees, the loss of a department with Sheffield’s reputation and track record is a short-sighted and retrograde step.

"Archaeology is a unique subject, providing transferable skills and an excellent foundation for any career.

"As a discipline, it deepens our knowledge about people and human society, a focus which is all the more important in these uncertain times.

"It draws upon science, the humanities, and widespread participation to make an important contribution to the UKs socio-economic wellbeing, development, and prosperity.

"You can still support Sheffield by signing the petition to #SaveSheffieldArchaeology."