Annual Conference

20151111_142414The Society convenes for its two-day  conference every autumn. Held in a different region of the UK each year, it usually addresses a theme of topical interest and attracts an excellent range of speakers working across all sectors of archaeology. The conference is an excellent place to learn more, meet new people and to enjoy visiting world class venues. The AGM also takes place at this time.

 SMA Annual Conference 2019

Behind the Themes 

Grosvenor Museum, Chester 7 – 8th November 2019

This conference will consider how thematic or synthesised views of the past are studied and presented in museums. Have you been working on an activity, exhibition or research that focussed on a particular chronological period or theme? How, for instance, is the concept of ‘Roman’ presented to the public? How, if at all, does this vary between museums and collections and what developments might we expect in the future? What or whose agendas are driving what is displayed archaeologically in museums and how is this affecting interpretation and engagement with collections?



Conference Bursaries

We are offering two bursaries to support people who would like to attend but otherwise would be unable to do so. The bursary consists of:

  • a free place on both days of the conference (which includes all talks, refreshments and the conference dinner on Thursday evening).
  • up to £50 towards travel expenses and/or accommodation (receipts must be provided)

Applicants must be individual SMA members or work/volunteer for an institutional SMA member. They must not have attended the SMA annual conference before. They must also be self-financing their attendance at the conference (i.e. not reclaiming costs from their organisation or elsewhere). Successful applicants will be asked to write a short report on their experiences of the conference for the SMA Newsletter or assist with the day-to-day running of the conference. Click on the link below for more details of how to apply.


If you require an invoice in order to book and pay please contact our Treasurer via

SMA Annual Awards for Excellence

SMA is pleased to announce that it has decided to introduce a series of annual awards that celebrate a range achievements across the museum archaeological world in the UK.  Nominations/entry is free of charge – all nominations to be received by SEPT 30th 2019.

Download information about how to apply plus full terms and conditions here


 Exhibition, display or interpretation project (developed in house, i.e. not bought-in or touring).

Collections Care/Collections development project (e.g. rationalisation, storage, documentation, conservation programme).

Engagement project or Event (at a museum venue or led by a museum on behalf of a city/region or a community project).

Collections Research (undertaken by an organisation or individual relative to museum archaeological collections).

Collaborative Partnership (between a museum and other organisation(s) of benefit to the wider archaeological sector and /or museums and their audiences).

Outstanding Contribution (Celebrating an individual/organisational contribution to the practice, understanding or promotion of museum archaeology).


Watch our Conference 2018 videos online!

Many thanks to Doug Rocks-McQueen we can share a great set of papers by a great set of speakers!


And the individual videos are:

Heritage Apprenticeships 

Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology: planning for all ‘event’ …ualities 

Your Dig: York Archaeological Trust’s new Participatory Community Engagement Programme

Visitor perceptions of, and engagement with, British prehistory displays 

Positive Action with a 3D Printer

Documentation and Curation of 3D Visualization Projects 

Displaying the Dead: results of the Leeds Museum visitor survey 

A new approach to rationalising archaeological shell 

Charging Ahead: Exploring fees for the transfer of archaeological archives in museums in England 

I like to move it, move it……into archive suitable boxes

Pottery Shop? What Pottery Shop? Re – thinking Corbridge from the base up

Improving Archaeological Reference Collections and Typologies 

Digging Deeper into Treasure

Archaeology matters: pass it on!

Forging a positive collaboration between Swindon Museum & Art Gallery & Cardiff University 

Old Collections, New Questions: Researching the Roman collections of the Yorkshire Museum

Birmingham: rediscovering archaeology for a superdiverse city 

Putting Cyprus on the Map: promoting the Cypriot archaeology collections at Museums Sheffield

Papyrus for the People at the Petrie Museum 



To promote the interests of archaeology in museums throughout the United Kingdom