Undergraduate Program

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This special interdepartmental major is supervised by the University's Council on Archaeological Studies. Inquiries about the major may be addressed to the chair of the council, Richard Burger, Department of Anthropology, 51 Hillhouse Avenue, or to the director of undergraduate studies.


The major in Archaeological Studies provides a program of interdepartmental offerings covering prehistoric, early historic, and medieval cultures and cultural developments in the Old and New Worlds, and introduces students to the analytic tools that facilitate archaeological studies. The major is designed to expose students to a variety of archaeological research perspectives (anthropological, historical, art historical, and physical science), while emphasizing substantive studies. These include: (1) study of such prehistoric - early historic transformations as the origins of agriculture, cities and states, and early empires, and (2) study of the material culture, art, and architecture of the prehistoric, early historic, and medieval cultures of the Old and New Worlds, including the iconography of ancient cultures, the relationship between art and society in ancient cultures, ancient writing systems, and American historical archaeology.

Requirements of the Major

The major consists of thirteen term courses, of which seven, including the senior project, are normally required: an introductory survey such as ARCG 100b, 171b, or 172a; the field techniques course ARCG 277a; the laboratory courses ARCG 278La and 279Lb; an advanced laboratory course such as ARCG 386b or 465a; a theory course such as ARCG 301a; and the senior essay ARCG 491a or b. Undergraduate majors should also acquire summer experience in the field or laboratory. The remaining six courses in archaeology must be distributed among the six subject areas represented by the departments and programs offering courses double-titled with Archaeological Studies, with three of those six courses falling in different departments and programs. The departments and programs are: Anthropology, Classics, Environmental Studies, Geology and Geophysics, History of Art, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. For three of the six archaeology electives students may, with permission of the director of undergraduate studies, substitute three courses from other departments in areas related to their research.

Students majoring in Archaeological Studies normally devote at least one summer to archaeological research in the field or the laboratory, or complete a summer field course in archaeology. Members of the Council faculty currently direct archaeological field projects in Syria, Egypt, Peru, Greece, and Honduras. Qualified majors are encouraged to apply for research positions with these projects.

Senior requirement: The final requirement for the major is a senior research project (ARCG 491a or b) in some field of archaeology, preferably one involving more than one area or discipline.

Students majoring in Archaeological Studies should consult with the director of undergraduate studies at the beginning of each term.

Note: Official Yale College program and course information is found in Yale College Programs of Study, available online here.