Archaeology is a multi-disciplinary field that emphasizes the interpretation of material remains in order to understand a culture's history, demographics, religions, economic exchange, political systems, and social values. Archaeologists can specialize in traditionally scientific areas, such as floral and faunal remains and forensic archaeology (biology), the chemical composition of ceramics or preservation of delicate paintings (chemistry), or the petrology and geomorphology of lithics and the ability to survey and map sites (geology). Archaeologists use computer software to record and catalog data and to map, and sometimes reconstruct, ancient sites. Historical archaeologists must be able to read coins, inscriptions, and the preserved writings of a culture (languages). Finally, archaeologists need to be able to understand human interaction (anthropology) suggested by the art and artifacts of a culture (art history). In short, to be a good archaeologist, one needs a broad liberal arts education with emphases in one or more specific areas.

Students may develop an individualized major in Archaeology by following the recommendations given below and filing with the Registrar a Contract for an Individualized Major. See Declaration of Degree Candidacy, Majors, and Minors, item 3c. For students intending to attend graduate school in Archaeology, it is also highly recommended to have an additional major or minor in a related discipline (e.g., Anthropology, Art History, Classical Studies, Geology, History, Religion, or Spanish).

Archaeology faculty members: Rhawn Denniston, John Gruber-Miller, Ellen Hoobler, , Christina Penn-Goetsch, Philip Venticinque

Major: A minimum of eleven course credits, at least five of which must be at the 300/400 level, from the following categories:

  1. Core courses: ANT 101 (Cultural Anthropology), 110 (Introduction to Archaeology); two courses in biology, chemistry, or geology; and language through 205.
  2. Courses defined by Time and Place:
    Choose option 1 or 2 from each of the following two sections:
    1. Time:
      1. Pre-historic: ANT 105 (Human Origins); and either ART 223 (Utilitarian Ceramics) or at least one additional course in science [e.g., CHE 202 (Analytical Chemistry); GEO 122 (Climate Change), 212 (Mineralogy), 320 (Geomorphology), 324 (Sedimentology and Stratigraphy)].
      2. Historical: at least one 300-level course in the language of the region you are interested in studying.
    2. Place:
      1. Old World: three courses from art history, classical archaeology, or history [e.g., ART 251 (Greek and Hellenistic Art), 252 (Etruscan and Roman Art), 263 (African Art); CLA 381 (Greek Archaeology), 382 (Roman Archaeology).
      2. New World: three courses from anthropology, art history, Latin American Studies, or religion [e.g., ANT 206 (West Indian People and Culture); ART 265 (Ritual Arts of the African Diaspora), 266 (American Indian Art: Gender and the Marketplace); HIS 141 (Latin American History); SPA 385 (Latin American Culture and Civilization)].
  3. Two additional courses related to archaeology approved by the student's archaeology advisors.
  4. Capstone Experience: Applied Archaeology 485 or Archaeology Capstone 485.  

Highly recommended: CSC 222 (Geographic Information Systems), ANT 311 (Introduction to Archaeological Field Methods) and/or some fieldwork or museum experience.

Other relevant courses may count toward the major with the permission of the archaeology advisors.