The archaeology subfield at CUNY maintains a dual focus: on major theoretical issues of wide concern in anthropology (rise of the state, hunter-gatherer organization, chieftainship, gender, human impacts); and on providing rigorous training in archaeological method (lithic technology, locational analyses, zooarchaeology, pottery analysis, quantitative methods). While maintaining a strong scientific tradition and a solid basic training in environmental archaeology, the faculty have also been active in studies of perception, gender relations, political ecology, and the integration of historical documents and archaeology. In recent years the archaeology subfield has developed particular strengths in the emerging area of Historical Ecology and the application of archaeological methods and data to aspects of Global Change research. Faculty research ranges from urban New York to rural Iceland, with particular strengths in Mesoamerica, Ecuador, South Asia, Near East, Europe, and North America. Major facilities and programs include the Hunter Bioarchaeology Laboratory, the Brooklyn Zooarchaeology Facility, the Hunter AMICA imaging facility (jointly with Physical Anthropology) and a developing GIS facility. The North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) and the international Archaeological Field school in Iceland (CUNY- Arch. Inst. Iceland- Oslo) are both managed from CUNY, providing students with a wide network of opportunities and professional connections. Consortial relationships with NYU, Columbia, Fordham, and the American Museum of Natural History expand these resources for students and faculty.

Sample Dissertations

  • Colin Amundsen. 2008. “Culture Contact, Ethnicity, and Food Practices of Coastal Finnmark, Norway (1200 to 1600 A.D.).”
  • Edith Gonzalez de Scollard. 2008. “Raising Cane: Sugar, People, and the Environment in Nineteenth Century Antigua, West Indies.”
  • Cameron McNeil. 2006. “Maya Interactions with the Natural World: Landscape Transformation and Ritual Plant Use at Copan, Honduras.”
  • James Woollett. 2003. “An Historical Ecology of Labrador Inuit Culture Change.”
  • Sophia Perdikaris. 1999. “From Chiefly Provisioning to State Capital Ventures: The Transition from Natural to Market Economy and the Commercialization of Cod Fisheries in Medieval Arctic Norway.”
  • Warren Perry. 1996. “Archaeology of the Mfecane/Difaqane: Landscape Transformations in post-15th century Southern Africa.”

Field schools

  • Iceland
  • Brooklyn
  • Antigua


  • NABO (The North Atlantic Biocultural Organization)

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