Save the collective history of humankind, recover the voices and stories of underrepresented populations, and preserve the narratives of global civilization with a degree in archaeology. Get your hands dirty by participating in important archaeological excavations in the Commonwealth of Virginia and around the world. Connect your finds with information about past environments to discover the history, customs, and living habits of people across time. An interdisciplinary major, the study of archaeology prepares you for a variety of careers in field archaeology, museum studies, archaeological law, teaching and research, historical tourism, non-profit organizations and work safeguarding the rights of indigenous populations.
Since the mid-1980s, Randolph-Macon students have participated in ongoing archaeological excavations around the world. Scholars work alongside renowned archaeology professors and researchers from across the globe to excavate and analyze human remains and artifacts such as tools, pottery, cave paintings, and ruins of buildings.
The study of archaeology is necessarily both theoretical and practical. At RMC, students take part in rigorous, interdisciplinary classroom learning and directly apply new knowledge through hands-on research and field work experience. Many credit their time excavating alongside faculty and students as pivotal to their futures. They work at relevant sites around the world and contributing to archaeological discoveries in Hanover County including Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, Hanover Courthouse, Hanover Tavern, and Signal Hill Plantation.
advising and mentorship
Archaeology is teamwork. At RMC, this means lots of interaction with fellow students and lots of one-on-one support from caring faculty in the Department of Classical Studies who work closely with you while conducting field work and supporting you with original research opportunities that give you the competitive edge for future graduate school study and careers.
8,000new archaeology positions are needed in the next decade
550BCthe year King Nabonidus of Ancient Mesopotamia led the world’s first archaeological excavations
The 1and ONLY bachelor’s degree in Archaeological Studies in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Origins of civilization
How do we define civilization? Why is civilization important to humans? What is the role of the arts in defining a civilization? Study the development of early cultures and “civilizations” and compare the definitions of civilization and the processes by which a civilization develops and wanes.
Archaeology, Art, and Cultural Heritage Ethics and Laws
Who owns the past? Who should profit from archaeological discoveries? Who should interpret the past of a culture or group of people? Learn the current international and U.S. laws that govern historic preservation, cultural resource management, archaeology, and commerce in antiquities.
Archaeological Methods and Theory
Learn the theory and methods of archaeology including the responsibilities of the archaeologist, stewardship of cultural remains, and research design. Practice specific tasks in a laboratory and field setting including site identification, survey, excavation, and artifact conservation. Study applied sciences such as archaeological chemistry, bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology, and analyze artifacts for the purposes of determining dates and provenance.
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New Archaeology and Classics Professorship Created Through Support From Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
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SURF Feature: Morgan Lindsay ’22 on the Decolonization of Virginia Museums
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