The Centre was established at UEA in 1967 to develop and encourage the study of all aspects of the archaeology and history of Norfolk, Suffolk and the adjacent areas of Lincolnshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire from prehistoric times to the present.
It has flourished as a focus for research and teaching which seeks to place the investigation of the region's past in a comparative and international context from the North Sea and Eastern Europe to the eastern seaboard of America. It also aims to address wider issues of community and regionality, and for this reason has attracted a steady stream of visiting scholars from overseas.
Since August 1996 the Centre has been fully integrated into the UEA School of History, and shares with it in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. Yet, although its current enrolment of postgraduate students testifies to its vibrant research culture, the Centre has always been far more than a university department.
From the outset, it has drawn heavily upon the enthusiastic support of members of the East Anglian community. Convinced that research remains sterile unless it can be communicated to the widest possible audience, the Centre looks outwards to the region and beyond, maintaining close and mutually beneficial connections with local societies, institutions and members of the public who share a common commitment to the life and work of the region.