Ancient history is a puzzle made up of innumerable fragments—pieces of bone, pottery, stone, and metal; remnants of architecture and monuments; residues of food; and traces of other things. Archaeology is the field of study that provides the tools to discover these fragments and piece them together to reconstruct a picture of the ancient world and to illuminate the stories of past peoples. An accurate understanding of the past is critical for developing a better present and future.

The archaeology certificate is designed to help students obtain a global and interdisciplinary perspective on archaeology and human culture and to gain many of the skills needed to analyze archaeological materials and conduct archaeological field investigations. Through their participation in the archaeology certificate program, students acquire an understanding of how past societies in different regions of the world have successfully or, in many cases, unsuccessfully dealt with adaptation to their environment and interaction with other communities. Students also gain a better appreciation of the diversity of human culture and increased respect for the differences that have resulted from millennia of social, economic, political and ideological developments. Students are able to explore the origins of subsistence strategies, trade, technology, belief systems, and conflict that are still relevant to our modern world, as well as ever changing global economic and political situations. 

The archaeology certificate provides an interdisciplinary linkage among courses in several departments and stimulates students to think about similar topics from different academic and theoretical perspectives. Through the curriculum, students get training specific to archaeology. In addition to providing students with a mechanism for developing an understanding of archaeology in its broadest sense, the certificate provides a strong intellectual foundation and skills for future careers and graduate study in archaeology and related fields. Students who successfully complete the certificate, along with a B.A. or B.S. degree from UW–Madison, improve their competitiveness in graduate school applications and, more importantly, have documentation that they are qualified for entry-level employment opportunities in archaeology.

For further information on the archaeology certificate, including a list of core faculty, please see the Department of Anthropology website.

Students wishing to declare an archaeology certificate should go to the Department of Anthropology, 5240 William H. Sewell Social Science Building. The telephone number for the department is 608-262-2866.

7 courses and 21 credits

Credits must be distributed in at least three SUBJECTs, and must meet these requirements:

Introductory course

Complete one:3
Archaeology and the Prehistoric World
Principles of Biological Anthropology
Principles of Archaeology
Total Credits3

Area courses

Complete 6 credits from:6
Prehistoric Europe
Topics in Archaeology
The Emergence of Human Culture
The Origins of Civilization
Prehistory of Africa
Archaeology of Wisconsin
Archaeology of Eastern North America
The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece
The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome
History of Islamic Art and Architecture
Early Chinese Art: From Antiquity to the Tenth Century
Pre-Columbian Art
Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece
Special Topics in Art History 1
Introduction to Biblical Archaeology
The Greeks
The Romans
Eureka! Technology and Practice in the Ancient World
The Ancient Mediterranean City
Biblical Archaeology
A History of Greek Civilization
A History of Rome
Introduction to Byzantine History and Civilization
History of Africa, 1500 to 1870

Must be an archaeology topic.


Complete 6 credits from:6
Hominoid Evolution
Human Skeletal Anatomy
Archaeological Chemistry
Ancient Technology and Invention
Bones for the Archaeologist
Archaeological Methods of Curation
Plants and Humans
Evolutionary Biology
Topics in Classical Archaeology
Climatic Environments of the Past
An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Practical Applications of GPS Surveying
Landforms and Landscapes of North America
Quantitative Methods in Geographical Analysis
Introduction to Cartography
An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Glacial and Pleistocene Geology
The Quaternary Period
Past Climates and Climatic Change
Introduction to Geologic Structures
Earth Materials
Landforms-Topics and Regions
Glacial and Pleistocene Geology
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Practical Applications of GPS Surveying
Introduction to Applied Geophysics
Evolutionary Biology
Total Credits6

Field course

ANTHRO 370 Field Course in Archaeology3-6
Total Credits3-6


Choose from:3-4
Ancient Technology and Invention 2
Undergraduate Seminar 3
Total Credits3-4

ANTHRO 352 can count either for a methods course or for the capstone course, but not both.


ANTHRO 490 is a Topics course. In order to meet the capstone requirement, it must be on an archaeology topic.

Residence & Quality of Work 4

2.000 GPA on all certificate-approved courses
11 credits in the certificate, in residence

 Pass/fail courses do not apply to the certificate.

Students wishing to receive advising for the archaeology certificate should go to the Department of Anthropology, 5240 William H. Sewell Social Science Building. The telephone number for the department is 608-262-2866.


  • Katherine Bowie

    Cultural anthropology, Southeast Asia, Thailand

  • Henry T. Bunn

    Archaeology, emergence of culture, behavioral ecology, East Africa

  • Jerome Camal

    Cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, Caribbean

  • Sarah Clayton

    Archaeology, Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan

  • Falina Enriquez

    Cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, Brazil

  • John Hawks

    Biological anthropology, paleoanthropology, anthropological genomics, South Africa

  • J. Mark Kenoyer

    Archaeology, South Asia, Harappa, craft production

  • Nam C. Kim

    Archaeology, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, complex societies, warfare

  • Maria Lepowsky

    Cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, Oceania

  • Hayder al-Mohammad

    Cultural anthropology, anthropology of Islam, Iraq

  • Richard McFarland

    Biological anthropology, primatology, behavioral ecology

  • Larry Nesper

    Cultural anthropology, legal anthropology, North America, Wisconsin

  • Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney

    Cultural anthropology, East Asia, Japan

  • Travis Pickering

    Biological anthropology, taphonomy, South Africa

  • Sissel Schroeder

    Archaeology, historical ecology, Eastern North America, complex societies

  • Amy Stambach
    Cultural anthropology, East Africa
  • Karen Strier

    Biological anthropology, primatology, behavioral ecology, Brazil

  • Claire Wendland

    Cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, Africa, Malawi

  • Zhou Yongming

    Cultural anthropology, East Asia, China, development

Academic Staff

Affiliate faculty

Administrative Staff

Emeritus faculty

  • Kenneth George

    Cultural anthropology, Southeast Asia, Indonesia

  • Sharon Hutchinson

    Cultural anthropology, Africa

  • Anatoly Khazanov
    Cultural anthropology
  • Herbert Lewis

    Cultural anthropology, history of anthropology

  • T. Douglas Price

    Archaeology, Archaeological chemistry, Europe

  • Frank Salomon

    Cultural anthropology, South America

  • James Stoltman

    Archaeology, North America, Wisconsin