This is my first issue of Archaeology International (AI) as editor. The intention of this journal is to show the range and distinctiveness of the Institute’s activities, including the high quality and variety of our research. Our intended audience is academic as well as anyone with a general interest in archaeology, including those considering applying to study with us. AI was founded in 1997 by David Harris (a former Director of the Institute) who sadly died recently, and whose obituary appears in this issue. For those interested in earlier issues of AI, all are now available online at http://www.ai-journal.com/

An innovation this year is the introduction of a section entitled ‘Research up-dates’ which provides the opportunity to report on research in its early stages. This issue carries nine contributions on research: five of them detailed, refereed articles and four of them shorter up-dates on current research projects. Research methods range from fieldwork to laboratory analysis, and time-frames range from prehistory to the present day. Several of the news items such as ‘Bookshelf’ and ‘A global perspective…’ also, of course, refer to research. So, overall, this issue provides a vivid picture of the huge range of the Institute’s research activity throughout the world, and the extent of our international collaborations.

The news item on ‘Studying at UCL Institute of Archaeology’ outlines the current opportunities for those studying archaeology at UCL. At present the Institute community includes over 600 students who are involved in undergraduate, or Masters’ programmes, or are undertaking research. Their experience is enriched by being taught by staff who are actively engaged in research, and many students participate directly in staff research projects. Students’ experience is also enriched by having access to a changing array of seminars, workshops and conferences held throughout the year at the Institute, or in nearby institutions. This journal is issued only once a year; between issues the Institute’s web-site (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/) gives current news, and details of events.

I would like to thank Chiara Bonacchi and Carolyn Rando for their invaluable practical and moral support as Assistant Editors, and Tim Wakeford and Anne-Marie Ainsworth of Ubiquity Press for their essential advice as Editorial Managers. I also thank Marion Cutting for coordinating both ‘Bookshelf’ and ‘A Global Perspective’. Finally, I also thank warmly all the contributors, without whose articles, reports and news items this issue would simply not exist. I now look forward to receiving equally stimulating submissions for next year’s issue: AI 18.