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.