Skip to main content


Archaeology is the field of study that allows us to look back six million years, to understand past peoples and cultures. Archaeologist study humanity, what we are, who we are, and how we believe and act on the world, through the things people left behind. We dig up and study the pieces of pottery, the foundations of houses, the fragments of bones, and translate these into an understanding of the past. Learn more about archaeology and its key themes.

Undergraduate opportunities

Students can concentrate on archaeology through classes and in the field. Explore undergraduate options.

Graduate program

PhD students focus on anthropology as part of our holistic approach to Anthropology, through courses, papers, and field research. Focus on archaeology at the graduate level.

Recent research

Northwestern archaeologists are studying the ancient Maya, the historic/colonial Caribbean, and medieval and historical Europe. Read more about recent faculty research.

Labs and field studies

Archaeology Teaching Laboratory

Undergraduate and graduate student can gain first-hand experience and training in artifact analysis using the laboratory’s facilities and collections. Learn more about the Archaeology Teaching Laboratory.

Field studies options

Current field projects span the world. Key interests and themes include inequality, gender, materiality, agency and practice, everyday and household life, landscapes, slavery, and the archaeology of capitalism.