Core Focus Areas


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Archaeology focuses on exploring human origins in both the Old and New Worlds. Studies also cover more recent issues of state formation, power and urbanization. Faculty expertise areas include ceramic and textile analysis, zooarchaeology, Andean prehistory, trade in the ancient Mediterranean, underwater archaeology, preservation planning and more.

Faculty in This Area

Institutes and Projects


Biological Anthropology


Courses and research in biological anthropology explore human origins and evolution. Students conduct research in the department's nationally-renowned Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology. Faculty expertise includes the areas including human skeletal anatomy and neuroscience, genetics and genomics, primatology, paleoecology, lithic analysis, and forensic anthropology. 

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Faculty in This Area


Linguistic Anthropology

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The focus of linguistic anthropologists is the human capacity to learn and use languages. At GW, linguists study language and related social communication, from the level of neurons to the Internet. Faculty expertise is predominantly geared toward the countries of Brazil, Japan, Russia and Indonesia.

Faculty in This Area


Sociocultural Anthropology


Sociocultural anthropology examines the role culture plays in shaping human action. Our sociocultural anthropologists are experts on social organization, international development, governance and politics, ethnic conflict, cultural heritage, health and illness (including psychiatric disorders), gender and semiotics.

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Faculty in This Area



In addition to the four core focus areas, the department includes several professional lecturers and full-time faculty members who specialize in anthropological museum work.