Contact Professor Andrew Shortland


Professor Shortland is Professor of Archaeological Science and Director of Research for Cranfield Defence and Security, one of the Schools of Cranfield University. From 2016 to 2023 he was Director of Cranfield Forensic Institute and previous to that Programme Manager for the Forensic Modular Master Programme, with overall responsibility for all MSc themes in forensics in the University. As Director of Research, he has overall responsibility for all research activity in the School and an indirect supervisory role for its of 150+ research students.

After reading a BA in geology at the University of Oxford, Professor Shortland spent a year working in the Oxford Earth Sciences Department using Pb isotopic techniques to provenance copper and bronze objects from the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean. Exploring the cross over between science and archaeology further, he continued at Oxford to read for a masters' degree in Prehistoric Archaeology, before being recruited into the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall to work for six years in a series of security related posts. On leaving the MoD, he returned to Oxford to undertake research in Egyptology, receiving a DPhil for work on vitreous materials from the site of Amarna in Middle Egypt. After a number of years as Research Fellow and then University Research Lecturer at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology in Oxford, Professor Shortland moved to Cranfield University in 2005 and established the Centre for Archaeological and Forensic Analysis which in turn became part of Cranfield Forensic Institute.

Current activities

Professor Shortland's own research group consists of archaeologists and scientists who employ their skills in a whole range of historical and/or defence related fields. The work concentrates in two areas. The first involves the identification and interpretation of material culture from the ancient and historical worlds. Professor Shortland is particularly involved in the analysis of glass, glaze and ceramics of a wide range of dates from the fourth millennium BC to the nineteenth century AD. Beyond vitreous materials, he is involved in the application of science more widely to questions arising from art history and archaeology and increasingly forensics. Much of his work involves using the latest techniques to answer questions about valuable or historically important objects. Typically, these involve queries about provenance, date, identification of past restoration or conservation and even the detection of deliberate fakes and forgeries. Professor Shortland uses a wide variety of different analytical techniques in his work including SEM-EDS, microprobe, XRF, XRD, Raman, LA-ICPMS, CT and optical microscopy.

Secondly, Professor Shortland is increasingly interested in the fate of archaeological and historical sites, objects and museums in conflict zones. As such, he is a specialist reserve officer with a leadership and recruitment role in a unit that provides experts to advise the military and government departments on current and future issues.


Universities throughout the world (Oxford, Harvard, Leuven, Leiden, Berlin, etc.)

Major museums (Ashmolean, British Museum, Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museums, National Museums Scotland, etc.)

Auction houses (Bonhams, Sothebys, Chrisities)

The Ministry of Defence, government departments and various military units

Private clients


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers