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Why Study Archaeology at USF?

Students hold up a shade to permit photography at excavation unit at Pierce Mounds, northwest Florida

Students hold up a shade to permit photography at excavation unit at Pierce Mounds, northwest Florida

Graduate students record artifacts in private collection, northwest Florida

Graduate students record artifacts in private collection, northwest Florida

Students conduct GPS survey at Desoto National Monument, Florida

Students conduct GPS survey at Desoto National Monument, Florida

Students learn total station, laser scanning, and GPS at Crystal River site, Florida

Students learn total station, laser scanning, and GPS at Crystal River site, Florida

Local children watch students at work in archaeology in Palmarejo, Honduras

Local children watch students at work in archaeology in Palmarejo, Honduras

The Community Archaeological Project, Honduras

The Community Archaeological Project, Honduras

Forensic work with the local police department, Tampa

Forensic work with the local police department, Tampa

Graduate student works with children in public program at Kolomoki Mounds Site, Georgia

Graduate student works with children in public program at Kolomoki Mounds Site, Georgia

Conducting non-destructive portable XRF analysis of metal artifacts in regional museums

Conducting non-destructive portable XRF analysis of metal artifacts in regional museums

Students analyze archaeological soils in the lab

Students analyze archaeological soils in the lab

Students conduct shovel tests at archaeological site in USF EcoPark

Students conduct shovel tests at archaeological site in USF EcoPark

As the first department in the nation to focus on Public Archaeology, we have trained a large proportion of the practicing archaeologists in Florida and the Southeast, becoming the program of choice for students interested in the contemporary relevance of archaeology. At USF students will:

Understand Archaeology as Applied Anthropology

Our M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Anthropology offer a unique framework for the study of archaeology as an exciting, living field with relevance to contemporary life and culture. Our goal is not only to understand and document the past, but also to bring it to life through research and public programs that speak directly to current concerns, such as the preservation of heritage, community pride and identity, and sustainable environmental practices.

Get the best possible training in archaeological methods

With major geographic specializations in Florida and the Southeast; Mesoamerica; and Europe, our faculty are united in a common emphasis on thorough training in rigorous archaeological methods, wherever a particular student’s interests lie. Course and field experiences are offered in: traditional field techniques; scientific analysis of soils, human remains, and archaeological materials; remote sensing, high precision mapping, and Geographic Information Systems; osteology and bioarchaeology; and cutting-edge non-invasive 3D scanning techniques. Many students also take advantage of department offerings in ethnographic methods, visual anthropology, and heritage tourism, or develop cross-disciplinary specialties, such as through the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems, offered though the Department of Geography.

Train and learn for the real world

The Department has established a national reputation for training students in applied and public archaeology, whether these graduates enter the profession with a sound training at the M.A. level, or go on to doctoral studies at USF or elsewhere. All students take a core class in Public Archaeology, which emphasizes educating the public about archaeology, collaborating with local communities to address contemporary social and environmental concerns; historic preservation law; and contract archaeology. Many also opt for the concentration in Cultural Resource Management, which focuses on understanding the professional fields of archaeology and preservation in both the public and private sector, as well as informing public policy on key issues of heritage management. USF offers the unique opportunity to work with staff at two department-affiliated Centers of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, one located here on campus, and the other at the nationally-famous Crystal River Archaeological State Park.

Join faculty to explore exciting archaeological questions

Every member of the anthropology faculty has an active, vibrant research agenda, with opportunities for students to be involved in answering any number of intriguing questions, such as:

  • What were the interactions between Spanish and native peoples during the contact, mission, and post-mission periods in northwest Florida's Apalachicola Valley and St. Joseph Bay region?
  • What is the relationship between centuries-old Honduran land-use practices and contemporary environmental concerns?
  • When, why, and how did island cultures develop in Sardinia, Sicily, and Malta, and how did they interact with other Mediterranean regions?
  • How do new discoveries at Kolomoki Mounds change our view of the way complex societies developed in the ancient Southeast U.S.?
  • Who were the people who lived and died in the neighborhood of the mysterious Miami One site?
  • How can the scientific analysis of ancient teeth and bone change the way we see the history of diet and agriculture around the world?
  • How did Civil War naval battle plans and fort construction divert an entire river in northwest Florida and leave a modern navigational mess?