Archaeology

Devin Sorrows Excavates at Al Baleed in Oman

Devin Sorrows Excavates at Al Baleed in Oman

At UALR, students get hands-on experience in real archaeology projects, and many go on to get jobs or go to graduate school in archaeology after they finish their BA.  Recently, our students have done excavation, survey and experimental archaeology in Arkansas and excavations at a UNESCO World Heritage site in Oman on the Indian Ocean coast.

What is archaeology?

Archaeology is one of the four subfields of Anthropology.  Archaeologists study what we call material culture – all the stuff that people make and use – to learn about past human cultures and societies.

In the US, archaeology is almost always found in Anthropology programs.  Most archaeologists start out by getting an undergraduate degree in Anthropology.  There are jobs available in archaeology with only a Bachelor’s undergraduate degree, although many people who are serious about archaeology as a career will go on to get a MA or PhD degree.

I want to be an archaeologist!  How do I get started?

Talking to your Anthropology advisor about your interests is the best way to start getting involved in archaeology. Once you enroll in the Anthropology program at UALR, our advisors will work with you to create an informal emphasis in archaeology if that is your main interest. We are also happy to talk to you before you declare the major or before you apply to UALR to see if anthropology and archaeology are the right fit for your talents and interests.

What archaeology courses should I take? How can I get field experience?

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Deanna Holdcraft excavates a feature in a room at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Baleed

In addition to our two “gateway” courses, ANTH3313 Archaeology and ANTH3320 Buried Cities, Ancient Lives, we offer a variety of upper level courses and fieldwork opportunities that allow you to really get your hands dirty “doing” archaeology.

Take ANTH3313 and/or ANTH3320 first, and as soon as possible get signed up for an archaeological field school or participate in the Arkansas Archaeological Society’s Annual Summer Training Program.  Classes with hands-on archaeological training include ANTH4487 Archaeological Investigation, ANTH4600 Archaeological Field Research, or a spring break dig.

We offer an array of special topics courses such as Experimental Archaeology, Arabian Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, and Caravans, Suqs and Ports:  Archaeology of Trade in the Ancient Near East.  Your advisor can also recommend courses outside of Anthropology program that compliment your study of archaeology.

How do I get involved in the Al Baleed project?

Once you have taken at least one archaeology course and had field experience you may be eligible to apply for participation in the Al Baleed Land of Frankincense Archaeological Project in Oman.  The application process is competitive, not everyone who applies will be selected to go on the dig.

For more information about archaeology at UALR, contact Dr. Krista Lewis at kxlewis@ualr.edu