Mar 27, 2023  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Historical Archaeology Minor

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Dr. Beth A. Eck, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-7391                                       Email:
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 212                    Website:

Dr. Liam Buckley, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-6171                                       Email:
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 117                    Website:


L. Buckley, B. Eck, A. Paugh, S. Poulson

Associate Professors

B. Brewer, B. Bryson, C. Colocousis, K. Dobransky, M. Ezzell, R. Lawler, J. Linder, M. Polanco, J. Solometo, J. Spear, K. Tanaka, M. Tracy

Assistant Professors

D. Blanton, R. Howes-Mischel, S. Newman, L. Porter, D. Trouille

Mission Statement

Anthropology is unique among the social sciences in that it celebrates humans as biological organisms and as innovative, creative, culture-bearing beings. Through course work, field schools, study abroad, independent studies and internships, students learn about cultural, linguistic, and biological diversity, human biological characteristics, and the human past as revealed by archaeology. The anthropology program provides globally-oriented courses that stress critical thinking, method and theory, gathering and interpreting data, intensive reading and writing, hands-on learning and the research methods and techniques used by anthropologists to understand contemporary human problems.


The Anthropology program has the following goals:

To introduce students to the nature of culture and of diverse cultural systems, their social organization and how anthropologists interpret cultural differences and similarities.

To introduce students to the relevance of human biology for understanding contemporary human populations and biological variation and disease and to provide them with the fundamentals of evolutionary theory and the fossil and genetic evidence that supports it.

To develop student understanding of cultural origins and the development of human societies through the analysis of material remains (artifacts) left by prehistoric and historic cultures.

To encourage an integrative approach to understanding the human condition that incorporates the contributions of all sub-disciplines of anthropology.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

An undergraduate degree in Anthropology provides a solid foundation for a wide range of rewarding careers. Students with a B.A. or B.S. degree in anthropology have gone on to become:

  • Graduate students in archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistics and area studies programs.
  • Professors of anthropology in each of the sub-disciplines
  • Professional students in law, medicine, education, international affairs, public policy and public health
  • Americorps and Peace Corps volunteers
  • Archivists
  • Business executives
  • City planners and government officials
  • College librarians
  • Field archaeologists
  • Cultural affairs directors
  • Historical preservationists
  • Museum and zoo curators and staff
  • International aid workers and development consultants
  • Management trainees
  • Nurses, medical technicians and physicians assistants
  • Forensic analysts
  • Coroners
  • Technical writers
  • Conservation scientists and practitioners
  • The anthropology major is a liberal arts program that stresses such marketable skills as:
  • Data analysis
  • Computer skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Global knowledge
  • Research skills
  • Rigorous writing and presentation skills

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • Lambda Alpha, Anthropology Honors Society
  • Student Anthropology Club


Major Requirements

To earn a B.A. or B.S. degree in anthropology, students complete 40-41 credit hours in the major. Given the diverse opportunities the discipline provides, the major is designed to allow students the opportunity to work closely with their advisers to develop a curriculum appropriate to their personal and professional interests. Those students wishing to do so may elect to pursue a concentration in one of the three sub-disciplines of cultural, biological or archaeological anthropology. The concentrations guide students in choosing courses to enhance opportunities for graduate school or allow them to pursue an area of personal interest within the larger discipline of anthropology. Up to two elective courses from a discipline outside of anthropology may be applied to the major. Elective courses from outside of the program must be approved by the student’s adviser and must be at the 300- or 400-level. Students must receive at least a “C-” in a class to have it count toward the major.

General Program

The general program provides students with a holistic introduction to the breadth of anthropology highlighting experience in the sub-disciplines of cultural, archaeological and biological anthropology, as well as introductory experiences in linguistics. The program is designed to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of the discipline in preparation for advanced graduate training or as an adjunct to their personal and professional aspirations.

Dr. Dennis B. Blanton, Minor Adviser
Phone: (540) 568-6171

Dr. Gabrielle M. Lanier, Minor Adviser
Phone: (540) 568-3615

The minor is designed for students interested in the sub-field of historical archaeology, a discipline that integrates the research interests and methods of archaeology and history. The minor is designed to complement existing majors in anthropology and history, and it may also be of interest to students in art history and public administration. While guided by the theoretical underpinnings of history and anthropology, the minor in historical archaeology is field- and research-oriented. Students enrolling in the program should anticipate courses that require significant effort outside of the classroom.

Two courses (six credits) may be double-counted between the minor and the student’s major.

Capstone research course

The personalized capstone course can take place over one or two semesters and will require the student to work closely with a faculty adviser. The project will require the student to define a research topic, establish a theoretical and methodological base for the project, gather data, interpret the results and prepare an appropriate statement of findings.


1 Access to geology and geography courses is competitive and will require some computer experience.

Total: 22 Credit Hours

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