Archaeological Studies

Archaeological studies at Oberlin is a program of interdepartmental offerings that cover a range of cultures—from prehistoric to early historic—in both the Old and New Worlds. This program of study also introduces students to the skills and analytic tools that facilitate archaeological research.


Our faculty members represent disciplines related to the field of archaeology, including Classics, religion, anthropology, and geology. They offer opportunities for students to do field research, laboratory analysis, internships, and more.

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Department Overview

Archaeology is about the discovery of the past and how that past can inform us about the present. Through the excavation of sites and by the analysis of the physical evidence those sites contain (structures, objects, human, animal and plant remains), archaeologists reconstruct past human lives, activities, and environments. An inherently interdisciplinary field, archaeology draws from methods and research practices in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

The Curricular Committee on Archaeology at Oberlin is comprised of faculty members representing disciplines related to the field of archaeology.

An undergraduate major in archeological studies, because of its strong interdisciplinary nature, is preparation for continued study or professional development in almost any field.

Our curriculum, coursework, and research opportunities lead to a variety of possible career paths. Professional archeologists work for universities, colleges, museums, federal agencies, and such state government offices as the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the State Historic Preservation. Private sector jobs are in cultural resource management, engineering, or environmental companies.

Most of our graduates within five years pursue graduate study in archeology or related disciplines (geology, anthropology, art history and art conservation, classics) at institutions such as Arizona State University, Boston University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, George Washington University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Southern Illinois.

Many have become teachers, at both the secondary as well as university level, while others enjoy careers in conservation, research, museum studies, cultural heritage management, cultural resource management, and art and archeological studies.

Archaeological Studies News

Reunifying Oberlin’s Natural History Collection

August 29, 2017

Associate Professor of Anthropology Amy Margaris ’96 along with other faculty and staff members on campus are working to digitize the college’s many “dangling collections”—objects and specimens spread across various campus buildings that at one time had a home in the college’s natural history museum.
Associate Professor of Anthropology Amy Margaris

Archaeological Studies Facilities

King Building

King Memorial Building is the main classroom building for social sciences, humanities, math, and computer science classes.
King Building