Mercyhurst University

Anthropology/Archaeology Bachelor of Arts • Bachelor of Science

"Anthro is the major for changing your life and changing the world." (Jason Antrosio)

Anthropologists (including specialists in archaeology) are scientists who investigate human diversity in the past and present.  Today’s anthropologists are interested in applying insights from the study of human cultural, biological, and linguistic diversity and change to contribute to contemporary local to global issues.  Anthropology is a broad field that integrates with other disciplines.  Mercyhurst University’s program in Anthropology/Archaeology is characterized by hands-on training in current methods and theory with highly individualized mentoring.  We prepare students to design and execute original research studies and become leaders in their field.  Job opportunity and diversity are hallmarks of careers in anthropology.  Anthropologists work in corporate firms, local, state and national government agencies, law- enforcement, museums, non-profits, universities, urban settings, and in a wide range of social- and community-focused positions.  Our graduates are sought-after because they have been trained in critical thinking, pattern recognition, problem solving, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and intercultural skills.  

Experiences and Outcomes

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DID YOU KNOW...

DID YOU KNOW...

At Mercyhurst you’ll gain valuable hands-on expertise in archaeological fieldwork, ethnographic research methods, and skeletal and artifact analyses. 

DID YOU KNOW...

DID YOU KNOW...

Our individualized mentoring in current research methods, data analysis, and writing skills will enable you to contribute to our profession as an undergraduate and gain valuable job skills!  Our students engage in collaborative research projects, author publications, and present their research at conferences and to the public. 

DID YOU KNOW...

DID YOU KNOW...

Mercyhurst is ranked as a Top-20 Value program for a degree in Archaeology by College Values Online! 

WHY ANTHROPOLOGY/ARCHAEOLOGY?

We asked our students to tell us why they love studying anthropology and archaeology.
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“It gives us the tools to tackle issues in a globalized world."
Amelia Bell ’18
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“It allows us to better understand what it means to be human."
Alexandria Albano ’18
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“By understanding human diversity you can be a more productive member of society.”
Kyra McCormick ’18


ANTH 205. HISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY

Students of historic archaeology study the major topics, themes, and methods in Post-Colombian archaeology in North America from initial settlement through industrial development. Case studies, hands-on activities, and off campus exercises cover subjects such as power, architecture, domestic life, gender, nationalism, genealogy, colonialism, war, race and ethnicity, and ideology in diverse ways.



ANTH 220. NATIVE AMERICANS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

This course introduces students to the diverse lives and livelihoods of Native Americans in contemporary society with an emphasis on the range of issues facing Native peoples today. The course provides an overview of the salient issues affecting contemporary Native peoples’ social, cultural, economic and political activities. Lecture topics include, but are not limited to, colonial legacies, popular culture and stereotypes, indigenous identities, tribal-federal relationships, sovereignty, cultural survival and revitalization, and ethics.



ANTH 270/272. PALEOANTHROPOLOGY I & II

Students follow the development of the human species from our remote primate forbearers through the appearance of fully modern Homo sapiens. The methods and the data of human paleontology and comparative primatology and is shown the complex relationships which exist between biological and cultural evolution are explored. Part I focuses on primate evolution and the evolutionary history of Australopithecines. Part II deals with the biological and cultural history of the genus Homo from its roots in the Plio-Pleistocene through the Palaeolithic Holocene.



Degree Programs

BA Anthropology & Archaeology

All Anthropology/Archaeology students complete 9 required departmental core courses (28 credits), Statistics (3 credits), and successfully complete the intermediate level of a foreign language (3-9 credits). Students seeking a general B.A. in Anthropology/ Archaeology must complete an additional 3 required departmental methods and materials courses (9-13 credits), Physical Geology and Lab (4 credits), and 5 additional Anthropology/Archaeology courses numbered above 200.

BA, Socio-Cultural Anthropology Concentration

All Anthropology/Archaeology students complete 9 required departmental core courses (28 credits), Statistics (3 credits), and successfully complete the intermediate level of a foreign language (3-9 credits). Students Seeking a B.A. with a Sociocultural concentration must complete an additional 6 courses (16 credits), 3 additional Anthropology/Archaeology courses numbered above 200, and STAT 130 Social Statistics.

BA Archaeology Concentration

All Anthropology/Archaeology students complete 9 required departmental core courses (28 credits), Statistics (3 credits), and successfully complete the intermediate level of a foreign language (3-9 credits). Students seeking a B.A. with an Archaeology Concentration must complete an additional 6 courses (22-23 credits), three terms of language (9 credits), Physical Geology and Lab (4 credits), and 2 additional Anthropology/ Archaeology courses numbered above 200.

BS Archaeology Concentration

All Anthropology/Archaeology students complete 9 required departmental core courses (28 credits), Statistics (3 credits), and successfully complete the intermediate level of a foreign language (3-9 credits). Students seeking a B.S. with an Archaeology Concentration must complete 9 additional courses (30-31 credits), Physical Geology and Lab (4 credits), and 1 additional Anthropology/ Archaeology course numbered above 200.

BS Bioarchaeology Concentration

All Anthropology/Archaeology students complete 9 required departmental core courses (28 credits), Statistics (3 credits), and successfully complete the intermediate level of a foreign language (3-9 credits). Students seeking a B.S. with a Bioarchaeology Concentration must complete an additional 9-10 courses (34-37 credits) and Human Biology/Lab (4 credits).

BS Bioanthropology Concentration

All Anthropology/Archaeology students complete 9 required departmental core courses (28 credits), Statistics (3 credits), and successfully complete the intermediate level of a foreign language (3-9 credits). Students seeking a B.S. with a Bioanthroplogy Concentration must complete an additional 8 courses (34 credits), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Organisms/Lab (4 credits), and Human Anatomy/Lab (4 credits).

Facilities

Archaeological Processing Laboratory

Our Processing Lab is the first stop for artifacts recovered during our archaeological field projects. Students clean, label, and catalog archaeological specimens while learning proper artifact curation and database creation methods. Once this is accomplished, the artifacts are then sent to one of our specialty labs for analysis.

Historic Artifact and Gravestone Laboratories

Specializing in the analysis of materials and cemeteries dating to the post-European Contact period, students study and analyze materials such as ceramic wares, glass bottles, beads, and cemeteries and grave markers to learn about our more recent past. Students work with local cemeteries to develop and operationalize gravestone restoration and analysis projects.

Perishable Artifact Laboratory

Our nationally unique Perishable Artifact Laboratory is dedicated to the analysis, documentation, and conservation of perishable material culture. We study and archive a wide range of interrelated craft products including cloth, basketry, string, netting, footwear and matting, as well as perishable artifact impressions and various objects made from wood, animal hide, and feathers. The lab also holds an extensive library of digital and print materials related to perishable material culture globally.

Ted Rathbun Osteology Laboratory

With our extensive comparative collections of human and faunal skeletal elements, students learn the most up-to-date analytical techniques to determine species, age, sex, health, and manner of death from archaeological and forensic human and animal remains. A comprehensive in-house library complements the collections.

Lithic Artifact Analysis Laboratory

Dedicated to the analysis of chipped- and ground-stone artifacts, students collect data that informs on the manufacture and use of stone tools. Students experiment with stone tool replication and uses, and our collection of artifacts from around the world represents 300,000 of stone tool manufacture.

Conservation Laboratory

The Conservation Laboratory is dedicated to the assessment, documentation, stabilization, and preservation of materials in archaeological field and laboratory environments. Staff and students focus on preventative conservation of durable inorganic and non-durable organic objects with the goal of providing stable environments for artifacts by regularly monitoring facility and collection conditions, and utilizing appropriate archival-quality materials for object storage. A freeze dryer, a walk-in climate controlled storage facility, and a Parylene deposition system are available for use.

Meet the Faculty

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Allison Byrnes
Allison Byrnes, M.A.
Lithic Technology Specialist, Director, Lithic Analysis Laboratory
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Anne Marjenin
Anne Marjenin
Lab Supervisor
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David Hyland, Ph.D.
David Hyland, Ph.D.
Professor, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
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Edward Jolie
Edward Jolie, M.A., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Assistant Professor Director, R. L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis
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Mary Ann Owoc
Mary Ann Owoc, Ph.D
Associate Professor Department of Anthropology/Archaeology
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Ruth Jolie
Ruth Jolie, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
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Stephen Ousley
Stephen Ousley
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

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