Welcome to the Department of Anthropology

(object placeholder)

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

 Click here to see Anthropology's latest Newsletter

 Dr. Holly Mathews and Dr. Laura Mazow were recognized for their outstanding teaching methods by students during the Spring 2015 semester from the College STAR.

Student response for Dr. Mathews:

"She gives feedback and forces her students to expand their mind and explore alternate theories or explanations. She wants her students to discuss topics in class instead of just listening to her talk the entire time."

Student response for Dr. Mazow:

"We have a small class which allows many opportunities for a lot of class discussion...She always provides feedback and answers to our journal entries and is always available when we need help." 

Congratulations to them both!

This summer two undergraduate anthropology students at East Carolina University, Tyler Beasley and Anna Lawrence, worked as interns for the Hyde County Office of Planning and Economic Development through the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation public service internship program. Both interns worked on research projects aimed at improving economic development by better understanding the needs of the local business community.


Marina Clough, also an undergraduate anthropology student at East Carolina University, completed an internship at Wanchese Industrial Park and provided an overview of webpages and print media that write or advertise about sailing related events, helped plan the Regatta of Sail NC and conducted 40 interviews with participants.

Dr. Charles Ewen interviewed for the New York Times. Is it the Roanoke Island Colony? Read more to find out!