Archaeology Major

Students working on an archaeological dig.

The Archaeological Studies program at Randolph-Macon College brings together knowledge from many disciplines to build an understanding of our human past.

As a cross-disciplinary field, archaeology calls upon expertise in a wide range of subject areas: archaeologists excavate objects which are displayed as art, analyze finds using natural sciences such as chemistry and geology, read historical documents and texts in many languages, and write with anthropological perspectives.

The Major and Minor

The Archaeological Studies program offers three different paths for focus as a major or minor: the ancient world, historical archaeology, and archaeological sciences. The program's interdisciplinary structure allows students to choose from many different courses in the Randolph-Macon curriculum.

Field Work

The core classes for the Archaeological Studies program provide opportunities to practice the techniques and methods of archaeology in the field. Students excavate at local sites in Hanover County and also can take advantage of opportunities to excavate at other historical sites around the world, including the Agora Excavations in Athens, Greece.

Ethics and Legislation

The Archaeological Studies program emphasizes World Heritage stewardship: the safeguarding of the historic sites in all areas of the world. An important component of archaeology today is learning about the laws and conventions which apply to archaeology, as well as the issues which make archaeology both popular and controversial. Students of international studies, environmental studies, political science and business benefit from understanding the influence archaeological research has on national, regional, and cultural identities and attitudes toward land use, urban planning, and economic development.


The R-MC Archaeological Studies major trains you to work as a field archaeologist in any area of the world, and the major or minor is useful for the art historian, historian, teacher, and politician. For all students, training in archaeological studies enriches understanding of the world and of the diverse and amazing achievements of humans in the past.