Program in Archaeology

Important Changes

Certificate to be Replaced by Minor

AY 2023–2024 will be the final year that the Program in Archaeology will offer the Certificate in Archaeology. Beginning in AY 2024–2025, the Minor in Archaeology will replace the Certificate in Archaeology. Students still listed in the Certificate in Archaeology will be automatically transferred into the Minor in Archaeology.



Nathan Arrington

Executive Committee

Nathan T. Arrington, Art and Archaeology
Caroline Cheung, Classics
Branko Glisic, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Samuel Holzman, Art and Archaeology
Elizabeth Niespolo, Geosciences
Marina Rustow, Near Eastern Studies
Frederik J. Simons, Geosciences

Sits with Committee

Peter I. Bogucki
Janet E. Kay

Surveying a dig


The Program in Archaeology is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary foundation in archaeology—the study of the material remains of the past—and to equip students to use archaeological evidence in other fields of inquiry. The program offers courses that cover many cultures and periods, including Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, and the Americas. It encourages a deep integration of the humanities and the sciences and promotes the awareness of issues of cultural heritage.

Once subfields of ancient art or ancient history, archaeology today embraces anthropological approaches as well as the physical and social sciences. Technology has transformed the practice of archaeology, with tools such as ground-penetrating radar, GIS, and photogrammetry offering new insights. Yet archaeology is not just concerned with uncovering and understanding the past; it is also devoted to protecting it. Rampant looting and the destruction of sites have placed archaeologists at the forefront of discussions on cultural heritage. Many of the program courses, therefore, including the required methods course (ART 401), highlight ethical and political dimensions of archaeology.

The program is open to all majors who have taken any one of the courses offered by the program. Students should apply to the program during their sophomore year.

Interested graduate students should consult Graduate Program information


The Program in Archaeology has funds to support students in the Program who are engaged during the summer in unpaid internships in not-for-profit institutions (such as museums, government arts organizations, or public school arts programs) that relate to the field of archaeology. In order to satisfy the Program’s “fieldwork requirement,” the internship must be approved by the Director of the Program in Archaeology and entail 100 hours of work. These awards are given based on the student’s previous performance in the Program; the benefits that the student would gain from the internship; and the quality of the internship. Priority will be given to first-time recipients. The award can be used for room, board, and transportation and will consist of a fixed stipend with a maximum amount of $4000. (In some cases the award may not cover the entirety of living expenses during the internship.) The amount of the award will be determined by the length of the internship and the anticipated costs of transportation and living expenses. Sophomores enrolled in the certificate/minor in the spring and junior majors are eligible. In exceptional circumstances, first-years who have taken courses in the Program are eligible. To apply, students must present proof of having received the internship (a letter from a supervisor or sponsoring institution); a copy of the undergraduate transcript; and the anticipated costs of transportation and living expenses. The application deadline for summer 2024 awards is April 26, 2024. Upon completion of the project, the student and the supervisor are expected to submit reports to the Program.

Applying to the Program

The program is open to all majors. Students ideally should apply to the program during their sophomore year, but may join it at any time during their undergraduate career.

In order to gain admission, a student must have taken any one of the courses offered by the program (see list below). Appropriate Freshman Seminars or Writing Seminars may fulfill the requirement, with the program director’s approval.

To declare your participation in the Program in Archaeology, submit the Program in Archaeology Application.

Using a pick axe

Program of Study

The program aims to provide a broad introduction to the field of archaeology and to allow students to pursue archaeological interests that complement their research in other disciplines. The core course and fieldwork requirement ensure breadth and provide a theoretical and methodological foundation for further study. The remaining courses should be selected in consultation with the program director and students' department advisers, so that students may tailor their study.

The plan of study consists of four elements: one core course, fieldwork or its equivalent, four additional courses, and independent research. One course may be taken PDF, with the exception of ART 401. Students can double-count up to two courses toward the certificate and their major.

  1. Students take one core course: ART 401: Introduction to Archaeology
  2. Students participate in fieldwork.
    ART 304: Archaeology in the Field or its equivalent.
    “Fieldwork” is not limited to excavation. Sustained engagement in any aspect of an archaeological project fulfills the obligation. Students may, for example, assist in a geophysical survey, participate in a surface survey, work in archaeological archives, or intern for a zoologist. Fieldwork must be pre-approved by the program director and last at least a month. Financial support for fieldwork is available. There is also financial support for internships with non-profits that count towards the fieldwork requirement.
  3. Students take a further four courses. At least two must be offered in the Department of Art and Archaeology in the ancient area (the “Group 1” for the History of Art majors), and at least one must be a course outside of the Department of Art and Archaeology (see the list below). Approved Freshman Seminars may count toward the four courses. A Freshman Seminar taught by a faculty member in the Department of Art and Archaeology may not count for the required course outside of the department. ART 100 may substitute for one of the two courses in the ancient area.
  4. Students undertake independent research, which may take one of three forms: 1) a senior thesis with a substantial archaeological component; 2) a junior paper on an archaeological topic; 3) or a 25-page research paper on an archaeological topic. Independent work must be submitted by 5:00pm on Dean's Date. Only theses are eligible for the Frederick Barnard White Prize in Archaeology.


The acquisition of languages that may assist in research (e.g., German or French) or in fieldwork is strongly recommended, but not required.

Study Abroad

The fieldwork requirement offers an ideal opportunity for students to participate in summer study abroad, and the executive committee can recommend many summer study opportunities.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who completes the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in Archaeology.

Documenting shards

Courses Offered by the Program

Most of these courses are cross-listed.

  • ANT 201 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANT 206 Human Evolution
  • ANT 300 Ethnography, Evidence and Experience
  • ANT 308 Forensic Anthropology
  • ANT 374 Bioarchaeology of the Peoples of the Past
  • ANT 390 History of Anthropological Theory
  • ANT 422 Death, Aging and Mortality: Cultural and Biosocial Perspectives
  • ANT 455 The Anthropology of Ruins
  • ART 103 Art of the Americas: The First 5,000 Years
  • ART 200 The Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
  • ART 201 Roman Architecture
  • ART 204 Greek Archaeology: The Classical Period
  • ART 266 Introduction to Pre-Columbian Art
  • ART 267 Mesoamerican Art
  • ART 289 Art and Archaeology in Cleopatra's Multicultural Egypt
  • ART 290 The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • ART 296 The Foundations of Civilization
  • ART 300 Greek Archaeology of the Bronze Age
  • ART 301 Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece 
  • ART 304 Archaeology in the Field 
  • ART 306 Classical Athens: Art and Institutions
  • ART 308 Roman Cities and Countryside: Republic to Empire
  • ART 365 Olmec Art
  • ART 367 Inca Art and Architecture
  • ART 395 The Ancient Egyptian Body
  • ART 401 Introduction to Archaeology
  • ART 402 Ethics in Archaeology
  • ART 409 The Archaeology of Jerusalem
  • ART 418 Antioch through the Ages: Archaeology and History
  • ART 419 Theory, History, and Practice of Textile: The Andes
  • ART 473 Kongo Art
  • ART 481 Egyptian Architecture: The Monumental Landscape
  • CLA 548 Problems in Ancient History - Numismatics
  • FRS 187 Earth's Environments and Ancient Civilizations
  • GEO 102 Climate: Past, Present and Future
  • GEO 103 Natural Disasters
  • GEO 203 Fundamentals of Solid Earth Science
  • GEO 362 Earth History
  • GEO 365 Evolution and Catastrophes
  • GEO 370 Sedimentology
  • GEO 378 Mineralogy
  • HIS 476 The Vikings: History and Archaeology
  • HUM 350 Battle Lab: The Battle of Princeton

Program in Archaeology Application

By filling out this application, you acknowledge that enrollment into the Certificate in Archaeology automatically transfers you into the Minor in Archaeology, effective AY 2024–25.