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Journal of Urban Archaeology

New journal launched by Rubina Raja and Søren M. Sindbæk.

Founders and general editors: Rubina Raja and Søren M. Sindbæk (both Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), Aarhus University).


The importance of urbanity

Urban societies worldwide have created a remarkable and immense archaeological record. Many pivotal questions concerning the global organisation and long-term developments of societies, and the parameters of their strategies and relations to the surrounding world, revolve around the urban condition for which the archaeological record is a vital source. Urban sites contain evidence across a vast range of magnitudes from remote sensing to micromorphology.

Whether through dedicated research projects or rescue projects spurred by infrastructural work, urban archaeology stands at the forefront of archaeological enquiries into cultural constructions, environmental issues, and social evolution, but is usually studied within the framework of different regional and topical approaches, e.g. Mediterranean, Meso-American, East Asian, Medieval, Colonial, etc. Urban archaeology is rarely defined as a research field of its own, yet it is an archaeology that comes with its own agendas and challenges. Although the empirical remains of past urban societies differ substantially across regions and periods, they often leave scholars with similar questions about societies.

Today, these questions go beyond the well-rehearsed issues of defining and setting criteria for the urban condition in human existence. Whether working on early agglomerations in the ancient world or recent industrial centres, urban archaeologists today refer to a common stock of theoretical statements, methods, and benchmark studies. But the developments, demonstrations, critiques and case studies that derive from this foundation tend to be dispersed as regional literature, which is rarely re-integrated.


A new venue for urban archaeology across empirical datasets, regions, methods, theories, and timespans

The empirical material relating to urban societies is extremely diverse, and is often difficult to compare across regions, scales, patterns, and functions. Diversity and cross-comparison are both essential to the study of urban life. Today, most of the world's population lives in cities. The issues of urbanism have increasing topicality and the study of cities across time and space has seen an immense increase in popularity over the past decades.

While many archaeological journals publish articles that deal with aspects of urban archaeology and urban development, so far no journal has focused on urban archaeology specifically. It is desirable that such a journal spans all of archaeology, in order to pave the way for new lines of enquiries worldwide. With this journal, archaeologists and historians of urban societies have a single venue for publishing and sharing the newest research on urban archaeology. Furthermore, such a journal is expected to attract wide attention throughout archaeology and offer a focus for scholars in other disciplines. Therefore, Journal of Urban Archaeology fills a hitherto overlooked yet much-needed publication niche for urban archaeology spanning all archaeological inquiry.

Journal of Urban Archaeology focuses on research pertaining to the archaeology of urban societies and networks in all parts of the world and across all time periods. The journal will spearhead new directions in urban archaeology, and will embrace both existing and emerging trends by giving archaeologists and historians working on urban issues a forum for discussion of new findings and approaches.

The journal publishes studies that tackle current theoretical issues and develop methods and practice of archaeological research in relation to urban sites and societies. We welcome reports on major new fieldwork, and studies whose approach or results raise research questions beyond their own regional context. This may range from fieldwork in urban sites to wider studies exploring the culture, conditions, and connectivities of urban societies in the past; the role of the urban condition in global history; and the scope of the urban as an analytical category.

The double-blind peer-reviewed journal will be published by Brepols Publisher with Open Access options. The journal will publish two issues a year. Each issue will consist of 7–10 articles of substantial length (up to 12,000 words), in order to allow authors to address issues in detail and with all the relevant literature included. Up to 25 b/w illustrations per contribution will be allowed, and colour images will be made possible in accordance with Brepols’s series guidelines.


Editorial Board

Prof. Shadreck Chirikure, Professor of Archaeology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Dr. Manuel Fernández-Götz, Reader in European Archaeology, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Prof. Roland Fletcher, Professor of Theoretical and World Archaeology, The University of Sydney, Australia

Prof. Li Liu, Sir Robert Ho Tung Professor in Chinese Archaeology, Stanford University, USA

Dr. Nadine Moeller, Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology, The University of Chicago, USA

Prof. Christopher Smith, Professor of Ancient History, University of St. Andrews, UK

Prof. Michael E. Smith, Professor of Anthropology, Arizona State University, USA


Acquisition Managers

Professor Rubina Raja

Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet)

Aarhus University



Professor MSO Søren M. Sindbæk

Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet)

Aarhus University



Editorial assistant

Research Administrator Eva Mortensen

Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet)

Aarhus University