Archaeology and Ancient Studies



Faculty Contact

At Sweet Briar, we celebrate connectivity of thought, and we invite our students to do the same. The interdisciplinary program of archaeology and ancient studies offers students the opportunity to engage with past peoples through multiple lenses, combining visual, textual and material evidence to generate new perspectives. By inviting students with an interest in material studies to think together with those working on textual materials, we highlight the ways in which knowledge is generated, providing students with the tools to conduct independent research, both in the library and in the field. Our campus serves as a natural laboratory that lets us explore the lives of diverse populations and helps students construct a framework they can carry with them — to excavations in Italy or internships in law firms.

What is distinctive about studying archaeology and ancient studies at Sweet Briar?

  • Claire Zak '18
    Claire Zak ’18 interns in Kazakhstan in the summer of 2016.

    It’s inherently interdisciplinary — perfect for students with wide-ranging interests and curiosity who want to explore the history of ancient societies and cultures.

  • This new major will start with “The Ancient Mediterranean Laboratory,” a course that teaches students to apply principles of design thinking — which they’ll learn through Sweet Briar’s integrated core curriculum — to explore the ways in which the ancient world can provide solutions to contemporary problems.
  • In addition to emphasizing connections between multiple disciplines that focus on the study of the ancient world, coursework in both the archaeology and the ancient studies tracks integrates elements from various disciplines, including environmental science, engineering,history, psychology and visual studies.
  • On-campus natural laboratory of historic materials, including a slave cemetery, plantation house, out-buildings, a slave cabin and 20th-century middens
  • Professional archaeologists with research expertise in classical and historic archaeology in Italy, the Near East, Romania and the Americas
  • Field, laboratory and museum training and opportunities both on and off campus. Students have completed internships and field study in North America, Greece, Italy, Japan and Kazakhstan.
  • International component that addresses issues such as cultural heritage and patrimony
  • As a contributing member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Sweet Briar offers archaeology and ancient studies majors the opportunity to study abroad for a summer and to apply to the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome or to the College Year in Athens.

What can you do with a degree in archaeology and ancient studies?

  • Recent graduates have obtained jobs in cultural resource management and historical museums.
  • Admission to graduate programs in anthropological archaeology, classical studies, law and historic preservation