Archaeologists study people of the distant and recent past through material evidence in order to understand their behavior, social and political organization, economy, diet, arts, and ways of life. Archaeology is a global discipline with a deep and wide comparative perspective that draws on methods from many disciplines, from biology and physics to art history and ancient languages. Graduate study in archaeology provides education and training in the recovery, analysis, and interpretation of material remains; the application of scientific techniques; the use of written, graphic, and oral accounts; and the study of archaeological heritage.
At Boston University, archaeological research is an interdisciplinary endeavor drawing upon social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities disciplines. Our research and teaching include emphases on field archaeology, archaeological science, and archaeological heritage. Faculty lead projects across the US and throughout the world, direct laboratories, and provide instruction in an array of approaches used to analyze and interpret archaeological materials.
Our facilities include a Geographic Information System computer laboratory (the Geospatial Lab), teaching laboratories, and two research laboratories: the Environmental Archaeology Lab and Zooarchaeology Lab. Our teaching labs are used in many of our hands-on courses. Collections of archaeological books, journals, maps, and photos are available in the Stone Science Library, and the Gabel Museum of Archaeology houses artifacts used in teaching, research, public outreach, and presentations in local schools.
Faculty members edit journals whose editorial offices are in our quarters, chiefly the Journal of Field Archaeology and the online Levantine Ceramics Project. We also host the Society of Ethnobiology. We are affiliated with the BU Center for Remote Sensing.
Research and teaching are the mission of the Archaeology Program mission. Faculty and students conduct research across the globe, while teaching takes place in the classroom, in the field, in the laboratory, and through student-led organizations and activities.