Archaeology and Wellbeing

  • Everill, Paul (PI)
  • Burnell, Karen (CoI)
  • Bennett, Richard (CoI)
  • Humphreys, Stephen (CoI)

Project Details


The process and discipline of archaeology has been used to support improved wellbeing among serving military personnel and veterans since 2011, when Operation Nightingale was formed in the UK. Since then the number of opportunities for participants has increased enormously, and positive experience of the initiative led to some of its beneficiaries establishing new, veteran-led archaeological projects in 2015. However, very little research has been undertaken to understand the mechanics of how and why archaeology is thought to be so effective, with this project leading the way in an interdisciplinary approach that brings together archaeology and psychology. Building on early quantitative data from British veterans, the project is currently collecting qualitative data. The team plan to undertake a realist evaluation using a mixed methods approach comprising standardised psychological measures, and qualitative interviewing of US veterans participating on archaeological initiatives. This will allow for an important cross-cultural comparison and more detailed understanding of if, how and why archaeology generates wellbeing uplift; and enable the identification of possible risk factors in participation. These findings will be combined with those from current research to inform the development of a programme theory for subsequent testing.
Effective start/end date1/05/16 → …