Why Archaeology?

Archaeology is the study of the past through its material remains that survive into the present.

Stanford's Archaeology Program provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to the material remains of past societies, drawing in equal parts on the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Students come to the study of archaeology from a wide range of social and academic interests. Our faculty offer diverse course options from year to year, to allow students to focus deeply on a concentration that matters to them.  

Our goal is to share our passion for research by giving students a strong basis in the discipline and its ethical standards while providing the opportunity for diverse and open-minded inquiry in facing the challenges that confront archaeologists today.

Getting Started

Archaeology offers over thirty courses that are WAYS certified and are great opportunities to start your exploration into Archaeology. Archaeology 1-Introduction to Archaeology is an excellent first course to take. ARCHLGY 1 is a general introduction to archaeology and world prehistory, with additional emphases on the logic, practices, methods, and contemporary relevance of archaeological knowledge production. Topics will range from the earliest Homo sapiens to critical considerations of the archaeology of more contemporary contexts and the politics of the past and ancient environments—recognizing that the “past” is not just about the past.

Beyond the Classroom

Explore a sunken shipwreck off the coast of Sicily, investigate the impact of colonialism on the island nation of Mauritius, or excavate the pre-Incan religious site Chavín de Huántar in Peru with Stanford Archaeology faculty!  

Our field experiences are active archaeological research projects around the world. Students who attend field schools spend 4-6 weeks of their summer quarter working and learning alongside professional archaeologists. 

Field school applications are open to students from all majors, and for many students are an immersive introduction to the discipline.

After Stanford

Excavation of Chavín de Huántar

Stanford Archaeology graduates work and teach all over the world, pursuing careers in archaeological research and teaching, as well as law, medicine, technology, museum curation, and more. 

Check out what our alumni are up to!