Welcome to the Department of Anthropology

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Are you interested in excavating the remains of an ancient culture? Have you ever pictured yourself analyzing forensic remains at a crime scene? Are you interested in how and why societies in the past and present have varied in their customs and ideas? If you are interested in helping solve problems related to disasters, homelessness, crime, ethnic conflict, as well as problems related to the cultural understanding of health and illness then anthropology may be the degree for you.

The East Carolina University Department of Anthropology offers a global view of human evolution, adaptation and culture to promote a better understanding of the archaeological, biological, and cultural aspects of human diversity. These studies foster respect for the biological as well as the ethnic and cultural diversity present in human populations today. Housed in the newly renovated Flanagan building, the anthropology space includes classrooms and laboratories as well as a library and computer room for student use. Students also receive individualized advising and the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on various projects. Each student takes a research methods course in his or her area of concentration and can choose upper level electives of interest. In addition to classroom instruction, the department offers field schools for archaeology, bioarchaeology, and cultural research, internships options and the opportunity to do honors thesis research.

With roughly 100 majors and about 15 faculty we are a modest sized department that can give students individual attention. As a special emphasis, the department supports curriculum development and faculty research and service into the prehistory, history, and lifeways of eastern North Carolinians. In addition, we have faculty actively involved in the archaeology of the Middle East. The Department of Anthropology also offers courses that examine the evolution, ecology, and behavior of primates and the placement of humans within the Order Primates.There is an active Anthropology Student Organization and chapter of Lambda Alpha Honor Society in which students can develop leadership skills and enjoy social activities. Our faculty members are active in ECUs global classroom program where students can take a course in cross-cultural understanding that involves interacting in real-time with students in at least three different cultures during the semester. Finally, our graduates pursue a variety of careers including education, business, and forensics. Some of our graduates successfully continue their education in graduate school.

Department News

Dr. Holly Mathews joined an interdisciplinary discussion panel on the Ebola Outbreak. The resulting article from the Daily Reflector describes the panel and discussion!
The Anthropology Student Organization (ASO) raised funds with Project Tumara to provide education and donations for the Ebola outbreak. Check out The East Carolinian for more details!
Dr. David Griffith received the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Award and is announced as the Interim Director for the Institute of Coastal Science and Policy!
Check out the Department of Anthropology newsletter highlighting some of our recent activities! Download a copy here.

Congratulations to our graduate students published in the North Carolina Archaeology Journal!

  • New Data, Old Methods: The Rediscovery, Definition, and Functional Analysis of the George Moore House at Colonial Brunswick Town, by Jennifer L. Gabriel, pp. 71-93
  • NAGPRA's Impact on Academic Research in North Carolina and the Southeast, by William C. Broughton, pp. 94-121
  • Archaeologists as Activists: Can Archaeologists Change the World?, edited by M. Jay Stottman (book review), by Hannah P. Smith, pp. 130-136
Dr. Charles Ewen was elected president of the Society for Historic Archaeology, one of the largest anthropological organizations in the United States.
Dr. David Griffith recently received NSF funding for the research project "Managed Migration and the Value of Labor."