We offer one of the only archaeology majors in the country. Archaeologists study people of the distant and recent past within the context of their own time and environment in order to understand their behavior, social and political organization, economy, arts and crafts, and ways of life. Archaeology is a global discipline with a deep and wide comparative perspective that draws on all types of broad-range disciplines, from STEM fields to the history of art & architecture, preservation, and many more. We research material remains, from simple stone tools to entire cities, study microscopic evidence derived from plants and soils as well as animal bones from the Paleolithic to historical era, and, where possible, work with written, graphic, and oral accounts. Archaeology is fundamentally interdisciplinary, with core research in both the natural and social sciences. Our faculty are involved in a wide range of field projects around the world and students have a variety of opportunities to work closely with faculty on field projects and archaeological materials.
Archaeology courses provide global perspective combining social and natural sciences with humanistic pursuits to understand diverse cultures and human history and heritage for a broad interdisciplinary training that prepares students for graduate studies in archaeology as well as many other fields. Graduates in recent years have gone into such diverse areas as law, medicine, state and private companies, museology—museum curator, since fields, and cultural resource management. A major or minor in archaeology provides particularly valuable preparation for graduate programs in historical and cultural studies and in certain special fields within the sciences.
Major & Minor
The Archaeology Program offers a BA and Minor in Archaeology.
Students who declare a major in Archaeology can also apply for the BA/MA, which requires an additional year of coursework—four years of coursework for the BA and one year of coursework for the MA, for a total of five years.
Instructional and Research Facilities
Our facilities include a Geographic Information System computer lab (Geospacial Lab) and research and teaching laboratories as well as scientific laboratories—Environmental Archaeology Lab, Zooarchaeology Lab, and the Paleoethnobotany Wet Lab—for faculty and student research. The Gabel Museum of Archaeology houses artifacts used in teaching, research, public outreach, and presentations in local public schools.
Faculty edit journals whose editorial offices are in our quarters, chiefly the international Journal of Field Archaeology, the online Levantine Ceramics Project, and other journals such as Ethnobiology Letters. We are affiliated with the AsianARC (formerly the International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History) and the BU Center for Remote Sensing.
The Stone Science Library houses an important collection of reserved readings for archaeology courses, online catalogs, archaeology bibliography reference works, maps, and other archaeology reference materials that primarily serve the Archaeology Program and the Center for Remote Sensing.
The Archaeology Society, organized by undergraduate majors, offers opportunities for students to socialize, meet visiting scholars, visit museums, attend workshops, and learn about fieldwork opportunities. The society has regular meetings and is open to majors and nonmajors.