Stanford University

Director's Welcome

Ian Hodder
Ian Hodder, Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center 

Welcome to the website of the Stanford Archaeology Center.

Archaeology is changing: always an interdisciplinary endeavor, recent developments have eroded old disciplinary boundaries and archaeology is now at the forefront of project-based research and learning in which collaboration between the humanities, the social and natural sciences is at the fore. At the Center we seek to expand our leadership in archaeological research and collaboration in order to bring the material remains of the past into dialogue with contemporary concerns and responsibilities. Our Center’s model promotes theoretical and methodological plurality and ethical innovation while encouraging visiting scholars, post-doctoral researchers, faculty and students to work side by side on a daily basis. Our aim is to play a leading role as archaeology expands out in new directions, expanding beyond anthropology and history and classics to embrace links with a wider range of disciplines.

Stanford Archaeology Center was created in 2001 by the University as a bridge between departments integral to the discipline as well as providing faculty lab space. The Center has maintained this initial charter while broadening its impact on campus and in the global community. Today, the Center brings together Anthropology, Classics, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Stanford’s Archaeological Collection as well as Campus Archaeology in partnerships and innovative research, and connections are fostered with Earth Sciences, SLAC, the Cantor Arts Center, the Center for East Asian Studies, Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Latin American Studies, African Studies, the South Asia Center, the Abbasi Program, the Law School, Biology, Engineering, Medicine and History, and Stanford University Libraries.

Our aim is to use the Archaeology Center to attract and educate future leaders in archaeology who can solve the issues confronting our field today. We will achieve this by continually investing in leading edge research in scientific techniques, ethical and heritage education and hands-on multi-disciplinary opportunities for our scholars. The Center promotes a compelling plurality of perspectives, methods and in-depth understanding of global diversity and responsibility.

Archaeology is important today as the only discipline that provides a material record of the long-term development of human societies from which contemporary populations can draw in understanding themselves and building their futures. Archaeology provides a broad training for students, crossing between the biological, physical and chemical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities, and involving hands-on and project-based learning.

Our core values are global academic excellence, forward-thinking cutting edge research, interdisciplinarity, plurality in theory and method, ethics and heritage, hands-on experience in the field and in the lab, community building and partnership.

This website is designed to allow access to the full range of activities in which the Center is involved. The work of individual faculty and students cross-cuts regions, time periods and research topics. The website allows exploration of these complex overlapping threads, and demonstrates the vibrancy of archaeology at Stanford.