Archaeology is one of the four integrated sub-disciplines of anthropology and is the scientific study of the ancient and recent human past through the material remains of past human activity.

Through archaeological course and fieldwork, students learn and practice lifelong skills applicable to many types of work and careers. These skills include the ability to: 

  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data and evidence 
  • write clearly and precisely 
  • design and implement field-based research
  • observe and describe characteristics and interrelationships between environmental and social systems
  • critically evaluate narratives of the past
  • work effectively in an interdisciplinary team 

High demand for archaeologists! 

Archaeologists work in many different settings, from private consulting companies to museums to governmental agencies. An undergraduate degree in Anthropology, with coursework in archaeology, will qualify you for employment as an archaeologist. Job prospects in archaeology are excellent, according to a recent study. Our department provides students with opportunities for hands-on archaeological experiences in the field and in the lab that qualify students for employment immediately after graduation. To view some current job openings in archaeology and related field, select this link

Courses with archaeological content include: 

AN220 Doing Archaeology (recommended for majors and minors)
AN219 Archaeology of the North American Southwest
AN225 Historical Archaeology
AN227 Collapse and Sustainability of Past Societies
AN328 Climate and Human Behavior
AN320 Field Archaeology

Course Field Components

Professional Conference Presentations

Most of the students above applied for and received a Conference Presentation Grant to offset the costs of attending and presenting their research at a professional conference.  

Several students above worked directly with an Anthropology faculty member and were financially supported by a Faculty-Student Collaborative Grant

Capstone Projects

Students conduct original research for their Senior capstone projects under the guidance of an Anthropology faculty member. Some recent capstone projects with archaeological anthropology content: 

Archaeologists-Private Collector Collaborations: A Student Perspective [Published as Sharing Collections and Sharing Stories: The Importance of Archaeological Ethnography in Archaeologist-Collector Collaborations in Advances in Archaeological Practice, a peer-reviewed journal].

Tangled Transmissions: The Differentiation of Historic Telegraph and Telephone Lines Through the Analysis of Material Culture. [Published in Reviews in Colorado Archaeology, a peer-reviewed journal

Wait Here; Rest Here; Write Here: A Colorado State Register of Historic Properties Eligibility Assessment of the South Fork, Colorado, Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad 'Waiting Shed'

The Dead Man's Cave Gulch Box: Strategies for Historic Caches

Historic Dendroarchaeology: The Cabins of the Manitou Experimental Forest, Woodland Park, Colorado

Culturally Modified Trees and Human-Forest Interactions in the San Luis Valley, Colorado: A Dendrochronological Approach

An Investigation of the Stone Huts 95SH40410 near Crestone, Colorado

Ethnography of A Southern Colorado Female Cattle Rancher: Insights Into Sustainable Land Management, Gender Equality, and Conservation Easement Designations

Complexities and Challenges of Honduran Archaeology

The Slate Pencil: A Case for Behavioral Theory and the Life History Model in Historical Archaeology


A field school provides students with 2 to 6 weeks of hands on experience doing archaeology. Here are some useful resources to find a field school to explore your interests and develop new skills. 

Archaeological institute of America (includes job listings)
American Anthropological Association (includes field schools in other subfield besides archaeology)
National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
Geological Sciences of America field experience


Paleocultural Research Group (Colorado)
Passport in Time 

See the Finney Field School Fund to apply for financial support from CC's Anthropology Department to attend a field school. 

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/11/2024