The Archaeology Program provides broad education and training in theory and method, with many opportunities for student research. The faculty is highly diverse in their theoretical perspectives, areas of methodological expertise, and regional specialization. The latter span the range from Stone Age hunter-gatherers to the origins and functioning of complex societies in both the New and Old Worlds. Archaeology faculty members currently are conducting research in Europe, the Southwest, Mesoamerica, and South America, with secondary interests in Africa. These research foci are reflected in highly diverse course offerings. Besides major emphasis on current theory and method, the archaeology program also offers laboratory training in lithics, ceramics, archaeofauna, geoarchaeology, and spatial analysis.
Archaeology faculty regularly conduct field research in the US and abroad. Undergraduate Students have the opportunity to undertake research in conjunction with these projects as well as on an independent basis in a region of the student's choice. An archaeological field school, one of the oldest in the United States, is also carried out every summer in the US Southwest. Students can participate in other field projects offered by individual faculty. The Office of Contract Archaeology, the archaeological cultural resource management arm of the university, provides other research opportunities in the US Southwest. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology houses many important collections from the US Southwest and other areas, which are available for undergraduate research projects. The director of the Office of Contract Archaeology, the director of the Maxwell Museum, and their associates are closely affiliated with the Archaeology Program.
Anthropology at UNM combines ethnology and linguistics into a single concentration in order to provide broad training. The program emphasizes the productive relationships between anthropological theory and practice by encouraging students to pursue research that addresses the concerns of the people with whom they work while at the same time sharpening the focus and purpose of sociocultural theory. Students obtain a strong foundation in sociocultural theory, the anthropology of language, and public anthropology. Key concerns include cultural and linguistic revitalization, gender, ethnicity, nationalism, human rights, ethnoaesthetics, expressive culture, land, water, health, historical consciousness, public policy, ritual, and tourism. Methodological training in ethnographic fieldwork, visual documentation, museum studies and the analysis of speech-based interaction is regularly offered. Special area strengths include Latin America, the US Southwest, and Native North America.
Evolutionary anthropologists employ a scientific approach to develop and test hypotheses about the nature, evolutionary causes, and scientific and social implications of human biological variation. Professionals in this discipline study human evolutionary ecology, primate behavior, human and non-human primate evolution, genetics, human biology, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology.
UNM Evolutionary Anthropology Faculty research interests include:
the behavioral ecology of small scale forager and horticultural societies in South America and Africa
tropical conservation and local resource usage patterns
human status competition in stratified social systems
skeletal biology and human prehistory in the Americas non-human primate social behavior and paleontology and biogeography in India and Africa
the physical and behavioral evolution of Neanderthals and other early humans
human genetic diversity in the Americas
the relationship between biology, language and culture