Archaeology studies past and present cultures and cultural heritage preservation by unearthing, documenting, and analyzing material remains.


Archaeologists study material remains, or the things that a culture leaves behind after they have left or disappeared. Think of the items in your own home that may still be around in a few hundred or a few thousand years. Archaeologists find these kinds of items from past cultures, from weapons and tools, to bones from slaughtered animals and fossilized seeds and plants. They study each artifact in context, and use that information to determine things about the culture that left them behind. What kind of food did they eat? What kind of tools did they make, and how did they make them? What sort of structures did they build? What did their artwork and symbols mean? Archaeologists study the remains of cultures from millions of years ago to the recent past.

To learn more about careers in these other areas of anthropology, check out the careers page. Consult with a faculty member on elective and minor courses and experiences to help prepare.

Courses in Archaeology

  • ANTH 105: Archaeology & World Prehistory
  • ANTH 350: Method & Theory in Archaeology
  • ANTH 351: Artifact Analysis
  • ANTH 352: Experimental Archaeology
  • ANTH 353: Archaeology of Warfare
  • ANTH 354/654: Cultural Resources Management
  • ANTH 357: Field Archaeology
  • ANTH 358: Archaeology Lab
  • ANTH 359: Special Topics in Archaeology
  • ANTH 394: Archaeology of North America Regions
  • ANTH 395: Mesoamerican Archaeology

Course Descriptions

Archaeology Lab & Simulated Archaeological (SIM) Site

In the archaeology research laboratory, students receive a wide range of training in materials, geospatial, and zooarchaeological analysis. Student can immerse themselves in on-going archaeological projects. Current topics include historical ecology and human impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems, zooarchaeological analysis of shell midden deposits, marine resource utilization, and historic archaeology and migration.

Belize Archaeology Field Program

The field school program involves survey, excavation at several Maya sites, and laboratory experience working directly with excavated Maya artifacts. Field techniques, lectures on Maya culture history and instruction concerning artifact analysis are provided during each session.

Cultural Resources Facility

The cultural resources facility (CRF) provides anthropology students with opportunities for research and learning in cultural resources management and heritage preservation. Students work with professional archaeologists, architectural historians, and other specialists, while receiving training project inventory, site mapping, excavation, historical research, identification and management of cultural resources, and navigating federal, state, and local historic preservation laws and regulations. 

Learn about Biological Anthropology at Humboldt