Why Study Archaeology at USF?
Students conduct shovel tests at archaeological site in USF EcoPark
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
Students conduct GPS survey at Desoto National Monument, 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
The Community Archaeological Project, Honduras
Forensic work with the local police department, Tampa
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
Students analyze archaeological soils in the lab
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
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
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
- 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
- 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?