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Why anthropology and archaeology?

We are driven to understand the human phenomenon. 

At the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, we take a comparative, cross-cultural and cross-specific perspective to understand human beings. We consider how humans evolved, how they shape — and are shaped by — their culture, and we seek to understand the records they have left behind. Our students are curious and driven to understand the world around them. 

In our department, we have:

Archaeologists study past and present societies through an examination of material culture. We are the largest and most diverse archaeology program in Canada. Our teaching and research interests include the development of complexity, landscape archaeology, social identity, spatial studies, geoarchaeology, human osteology, zooarchaeology, human-environment interaction, and cultural heritage management. We emphasize a hands-on approach to learning through laboratory-based classes focused analytical techniques.

> Learn more about a degree in archaeology

Biological anthropologists study the fossil remains of our human ancestors, the living primates, as well as the adaptation of living humans to different environments. We offer a wide range of courses on primate behavior, evolution, ecology, cognition, and conservation that is without equal in Canada. The department also has a laboratory with casts of fossils from the earliest primates through to modern humans.

> Learn more about a degree in anthropology or archeology with a focus on bioanthropology

Social and cultural anthropologists study different societies and cultures around the world and examine such fundamental challenges as indigeneity, racism, migration, gender, development, globalization, nationalism, war, and terrorism. The ethnographic approach allows critical insights into how people actually live, how they negotiate the challenges they face, and how global issues have implications for their local, every day lives. Our Faculty members have strengths in issues related to resource extraction, military, medical, economic, urban, and political anthropology.

> Learn more about a degree in anthropology

Development studies
Development Studies is about social, economic, environmental, and political change. Issues are examined both here in Canada and around the world and include poverty, hunger, social justice, and governance. Students learn through courses, research, and experiential learning studying topics such as community development, sustainable and participatory development, colonialism, cultural beliefs and human rights. Students are encouraged to learn through experience through travel to other countries by participating in the university’s study abroad program.

> Learn more about a degree in development studies