The Princess Royal visits UCL Institute of Archaeology in its anniversary year

27 April 2012

HRH The Princess Royal unveils a plaque at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (26 April 2012)

The 75th Anniversary of the UCL Institute of Archaeology has been marked by a visit this week from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London.

The Princess Royal toured the Institute and met a number of staff and students, learning about a variety of different research projects including ones focused on the terracotta army in China, in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and in Ancient Merv (in modern-day Turkmenistan).

She also looked round the conservation laboratories and was shown objects from the Institute’s collections, as well as hearing about a youth outreach project run by Institute students called The Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC). At the end of the visit, a plaque commemorating her visit and the 75th anniversary was unveiled.

HRH The Princess Royal visits the Institute's Conservation Laboratories

Professor Stephen Shennan, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology, said:

  • “We were delighted to welcome The Princess Royal and to tell her more about research projects currently being carried out by our staff around the world. She was very enthusiastic about the quality and diversity of research and teaching here and about the subject of archaeology as a whole.”

Those present at the event included staff and students from the Institute, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, Professor Paul Webley, Executive Dean of the UCL Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, Professor Stephen Smith and UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant.

HRH The Princess Royal views some of the Institute's Collections

Professor Grant added:

  • “This year is the Institute’s 75th anniversary and although the celebrations are taking place year-round, it is fitting that The Princess Royal visited in the anniversary of the very week that the Institute was founded by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1937 – and that she also helped celebrate the 50th anniversary in 1987. Today, with more than 130 staff and more than 600 students, the Institute is by far the largest archaeology department in a British university and one of the biggest in the world.”

The visit is part of a programme of events and activities to celebrate the past, present and future of the Institute, with a close community of current and former staff and students coming together at a number of lectures, exhibitions and other events to celebrate the Institute's many achievements in archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies.

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