So the world-renowned archaeology department of Sheffield University is to close. The final decision, by the University’s Council, was apparently conveyed by the Vice Chancellor to the archaeology staff at an online meeting of under 15 minutes at which attendees were muted. Was it feared that such a decision could not stand up under rigorous scrutiny? There are many questions about the way this process has been managed. We can certainly assume that students, teachers, archaeologists and those involved in associated disciplines will be the immediate losers in this shocking and short-sighted move. Just as worrying must be the longer-term loss of our country’s reputation for its world class archaeology – and at a time when there is a serious shortage of archaeologists with almost every contractor advertising for staff.