Anthropology and Archaeology
If the idea of rummaging for million-year-old fossils, talking to people about food, hip hop, television and health care, or finding out when people built the first cities of Europe or migrated to the Caribbean excite you, your interests have a home in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. Using a four-field approach — sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology and linguistic anthropology — the department combines the sciences with the humanities to understand the biological, social and cultural factors contributing to the commonalities and differences of human behavior, past and present.
Anthropology is the study of people, how we evolved physically and differ cross-culturally, and how we live and interact with one another. Anthropology combines the social and natural sciences in unique ways to study humanity in the broadest sense. Anthropologists study different cultures by living with the people, experiencing their lives as they themselves do, seeking to develop an empathetic knowledge of a given way of life; how people once lived by studying the things they left behind, as recently as a century ago or from prehistoric times; how language use relates to who we are, where we come from and who we aspire to be; how primates living and extinct inform us about the long history and evolution of the human body and mind, and primates’ place in nature.
Undergraduate majors in our department have ongoing opportunities to pursue hands-on research in the lab and in the field alongside full-time faculty members, here and abroad. Graduates are equipped to go on to many different endeavors, especially those benefitting from an appreciation of diversity and the human experience, ability to do independent research and work in groups, and bridge between the social and biological dimensions that define our lives.
The courses of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology present the richness in human variation and cultural diversity, and offer the anthropological perspective as a way of thinking, a way of problem solving, and as a model for future learning.
Department Chairperson: H. Arthur Bankoff
Location: 3307 James Hall