Archaeology is a global discipline devoted to understanding people of the distant and recent past. Archaeologists draw on material remains, ephemeral and microscopic evidence derived from plants and soils, and, where possible, written, graphic, and oral accounts. At Boston University, we focus on three areas in our research and teaching: field archaeology, archaeological science, and archaeological heritage. Department faculty have projects throughout the world: China, Japan, North America, Mexico and Latin America, France, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and Iraq. Faculty use and provide instruction in an array of computer-assisted technologies for research, including Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Micromorphological analysis, and various analytical techniques for materials studies.

Departmental facilities include teaching and research laboratories, a seminar room, computer room, visual resource center, darkroom, student lounge, and a reference collection of artifacts and specimens. Additional instructional and research equipment is available through the Center for Remote Sensing, the only such center in the world that emphasizes archaeological applications, and the International Center for East Asian Archaeology & Cultural History (ICEAACH). The centers are described in the Research Centers & Institutes section of this website. Faculty of the department edit journals and newsletters whose editorial offices are included in departmental quarters: the international Journal of Field Archaeology; and the regional Journal of East Asian Archaeology. The headquarters of the Archaeological Institute of America, the American Journal of Archaeology, the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) are located nearby at 656 Beacon Street in Kenmore Square.

In addition to the archaeological books and journals in the Mugar Library, there is an important collection of archaeological books and journals in the Stone Science Library, which primarily serves the Department of Archaeology and the Center for Remote Sensing. The collection is on the fourth floor in an attractive reading room, along with computers, online catalogs, archaeological bibliographical reference works, maps, and other archaeological reference materials.