B.A. in Archaeology

Archaeology at GW focuses on both Old and New Worlds and concerns issues of state formation, power, and human origins. The B.A. program in Archaeology provides one of the few degrees in this discipline offered in the United States.

This is a 39-hour interdisciplinary major program sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Fine Arts and Art History. It covers both archaeology itself and other disciplines common in archaeological research: Anthropology, art history, classics, and history. Courses are divided into three groups for distribution purposes: Field and laboratory work, anthropological archaeology, and ancient civilizations. Students take courses in all groups, and may further specialize in one discipline or area. All students acquire experience in field or laboratory methods. Twelve credit hours or the equivalent of a pertinent foreign language are also required.

Program Requirements

The archaeology major advisor is Eric H. Cline, [email protected] (fall), Alison S. Brooks[email protected] (spring)

Special Honors in Archaeology

Students who meet the Columbian College requirements for special honors are encouraged to undertake a thesis research project in their senior year. Such students should take 3 or more hours of Anth 3995 (Undergraduate Research).  To learn more, click here.

Get a copy of the Archaeology Major flyer.

Courses Offered

Archaeology-Related Opportunities at GW

Capitol Archaeological Institute

The Capitol Archaeological Institute takes advantage of our location in Washington, DC, to advance archaeological research initiatives and cultural heritage development and to foster a community of archaeologists through lectures and other programs. For more information, visit the Institute's webpage.

GW Field Programs

GW faculty lead several field programs. In prehistoric archaeology, there is the new program at Koobi Fora, in Kenya, and continuing programs in Israel (Megiddo and Tel Kabri), Jordan, and Mexico. We also have a historical archaeology program in suburban Virginia and a maritime archaeology program in Florida.

For more information on field programs, see Fieldwork Opportunities.

The bachelor of arts with a major in archaeology is an interdepartmental program offered by the Department of Anthropology in cooperation with the Department of Arts and Art History and the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Additional curriculum requirements:

Prerequisite courses:
ANTH 1002Sociocultural Anthropology
ANTH 1003Archaeology
Required courses in other areas:
Completion of a two-year language proficiency through the intermediate level in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, or Greek, or placement above the intermediate level.
Requirements for the major:
ANTH 3838Theory and Practice in Archaeology
or ANTH 3838W Theory and Practice in Archaeology
3-6 credits of archaeological field or laboratory courses selected from:
ANTH 3832Paleoanthropological Field Program
ANTH 3833Field Research: New World
ANTH 3834Field Research: Old World
ANTH 3835Historical Archaeology Field Program
ANTH 3839Lab Research Methods in Archaeology
ANTH 3995Undergraduate Research
ANTH 3995 can be counted with advisor's approval.
ANTH 6806Technology
Qualified juniors and seniors are permitted to take ANTH 6806 with departmental approval.
12-15 credits from anthropological archaeology and archaeology of ancient civilizations (section 4 below). At least one course must be taken from both and no course can count in more than one category. Either ANTH 3821 or ANTH 3822 can count for the major, but not both.
Anthropological archaeology
ANTH 3801African Roots from Australopithecus to Zimbabwe
or ANTH 3801W African Roots from Australopithecus to Zimbabwe
ANTH 3802Human Cultural Beginnings
or ANTH 3802W Human Cultural Beginnings
ANTH 3803Old World Prehistory: First Farmers to First Cities
or ANTH 3803W Old World Prehistory: First Farmers to First Cities
ANTH 3811Historical Archaeology
ANTH 3822
ANTH 3823Archaeology of Ritual and Religion
ANTH 3891Special Topics in Archaeology
15 credits of ancient civilizations, including at least one in each category below.
Art history
AH 3101Ancient Art of the Bronze Age and Greece
AH 3102Ancient Art of the Roman Empire
AH 3103Art and Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East
AH 3104Art and Archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age
AH 3105Topics in Ancient Art and Archaeology
AH 3106Art and Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands
AH 3107Ancient Mexican Civilizations
AH 3117Special Topics in Precolumbian Art and Archaeology
Classical civilization
CLAS 2105Special Topics
CLAS 2106Mythology of the Classical World
CLAS 2107Greek and Roman Drama
CLAS 3114Topics in Ancient Literatures and Cultures
CLAS 3115Topics in Ancient Art and Archaeology
CLAS 2112History of Ancient Greece
CLAS 2113The Roman World to 337 A.D.
CLAS 2803The Ancient Near East and Egypt to 322 B.C.
CLAS 2804History of Ancient Israel
HIST 2112History of Ancient Greece
HIST 2113The Roman World to 337 A.D.
HIST 2803The Ancient Near East and Egypt to 322 B.C.
HIST 2804History of Ancient Israel
HIST 3111Topics in Ancient History
Archaeology of ancient civilizations
ANTH 3804Origins of the State and Urban Society
ANTH 3805Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands
ANTH 3806Art and Archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age
ANTH 3808Archaeology and the Celts
ANTH 3812The Aztec Empire
ANTH 3813Archaeology of North America
ANTH 3814Ancient Mexican Civilizations
ANTH 3821
A given course cannot count toward more than one requirement for the major.