This issue of Archaeology International (AI) provides an overview of the activities of UCL Institute of Archaeology during the last year, and shows the extraordinary variety and the high quality of our teaching and research.

Firstly, we welcome our new Director, Professor Sue Hamilton. Her report details the many impressive achievements of staff and students over the last year. Other news items highlight our links with Peking University, the activities of our Field Unit, and the potential of new scientific equipment. Four refereed articles and four shorter research up-dates, together with ‘Bookshelf’ and ‘A global perspective on the past’, demonstrate the international reach of our research, and the range of approaches involved, including excavation, community engagement, scientific analysis of artifacts, and conceptual evaluation of exhibitions or personal collections. Research not only feeds into our teaching but also provides students with exciting opportunities to participate directly in staff research projects. ‘Studying at UCL Institute of Archaeology’ provides information on our teaching and our students’ experience. Further details of degree programmes are available on the Institute’s web-site http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/ which also provides details of the rich programme of seminars, workshops and conferences open to staff and students throughout the year.

We are proud of the Institute’s long history. In this issue we include an article on the development of the Institute’s specialist library, and three alumni reflect on their experiences at the Institute in the later years of the last century. To mark Sue Hamilton’s appointment we have also included brief biographical details and photographs of some of the women who contributed to shaping the very early years of the Institute (see ‘From the Archives’). For those interested in the history of the Institute, earlier issues of AI are available online at http://www.ai-journal.com/.

I have enjoyed reading all the contributions to this issue and I am most grateful to all the Institute staff, students, associates, and alumni whose work appears here. My warmest thanks go to Carolyn Rando and Chiara Bonacchi our Assistant Editors, and Charlene Murphy our Copy Editor for their invaluable help and support. I also thank Marion Cutting for her help with both ‘Bookshelf’ and ‘A Global Perspective’ and Sam Hall of Ubiquity Press for his patient advice as Editorial Manager during much of this last year. Finally, I am very pleased to welcome Anastasia Sakellariadi as our new Editorial Manager at Ubiquity. She knows the Institute well, and has guided this issue into being over the last few weeks of preparation.