Archaeology explores societies and cultures of the past through the material remains of human activities. These remains can be as varied as ceramics, architecture, landscape, documents or food remains.
As stewards of the past, archaeologists are responsible for preserving our cultural heritage for future generations. Heritage stewardship, through the process of Cultural Resource Management (CRM), includes site documentation and preservation as well as careful excavation.
While the department takes an anthropological approach to the archaeology of past societies, students are encouraged to augment this approach through courses in art history, classics, history or museum studies.
Our 3,250-acre campus, also a well-preserved 19th century plantation, is a "landscape for learning" where students learn through hands-on fieldwork. In class, students explore the basis of archaeological interpretation, as well as topics including the rise and fall of civilizations, the archaeology of everyday life, death and gender, and historical archaeology.
Opportunities for student employment include the newly established Archaeological Materials Laboratory where students work on artifacts from ongoing contract archaeology projects. Qualified students may also find paid internships or summer employment as archaeological field technicians in CRM projects through our collaboration with the local engineering firm of Hurt and Proffitt.
Other opportunities for learning through direct experience are available in independent study, archaeological fieldschools and unpaid internships at nearby historical sites and museums.