The Royal Archaeological Institute (RAI) is a leading national archaeology society, with a history dating back to 1844. Its interests span all aspects of the archaeological, architectural and landscape history of the British Isles.

Through our annual publication of the Archaeological Journal and our programme of monthly lectures, we have a strong tradition of presenting archaeological research. We also give grants to enable research projects, host conferences and run specialist tours for our members to archaeological sites, historic buildings and landscapes.

Find out more about what Royal Archaeological Institute membership offers and what options are available.
View our comprehensive lecture program, covering a variety of topics between October and May every year.
The Royal Archaeological Institute has research funds available each year - discover more about funds and eligibility criteria.
Learn more about our publications, including the Archaeological Journal, our newsletter and the summer meeting reports.

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Forthcoming events

14 December lecture at 5 pm by Rachel Newman
Wednesday 14th December 2016

Dacre, Cumbria, the early medieval monastery described by the Venerable Bede

Dacre is rare in the world of early medieval archaeology in being referenced in a contemporary historical source. In c AD 731, the Venerable Bede wrote that a miracle had taken place in a monastery by the river Dacore, and high-quality stone sculpture, dating to the ninth and tenth centuries, added empirical evidence. In 1982, excavations to the west of the churchyard, and in its northern extension, found evidence of early medieval activity, and between 1983 and 1985, a cemetery of at least 230 graves was recorded, along with at least two buildings. Whilst almost no human bone survived the aggressively acidic soil conditions, the orientation of the graves, and the lack of finds, indicated a Christian population. Evidence of wooden ‘chests’, with fine iron fittings, suggested a rite peculiar to high-status burials in the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. Window glass, similar to that from Jarrow, and an assemblage of metalwork, including a gold ring and a stylus, add weight to its importance.

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