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archaeological ruins

The grand and distinguished tradition of archaeology at Smith—based on the study of ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East—gained a broader geographical multidisciplinary focus when the archaeology minor was introduced in 1984. Built on interdepartmental collaboration, the archaeology program works in cooperation with and is complemented by the anthropological and archaeological program at the University of Massachusetts. In addition to students who enroll in ANT 135 Introduction to Archaeology, and those who declare a minor in archaeology, students pursue archaeology studies through various avenues. Most student experiences occur during the summer in addition to the regular academic program.


Late Medieval Excavation Field School, Scottish Borders

HARP, in association with the Ancrum and District Heritage Society (ADHS), will be running a two-week excavation field school from Monday 4th to Friday 15th September at the site of the Mantle Walls, Ancrum in the Scottish Borders. More information and application are here.

Requirements & Courses

Archaeology is a method for learning about the human past through the study of artifacts and other material remains. The interdepartmental minor in archaeology is a complement to any one of several departmental majors. Archaeological methods and evidence can be used to illuminate various disciplines and will aid the student in the analysis of information and data provided by field research. 



  1. ARC 135/ANT 135
  2. Five additional courses. These are to be chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser for the minor. We encourage students to choose courses from at least two different departments, and to study both Old World and New World materials.
  3. A project in which the student works outside of a conventional classroom but under appropriate supervision on an archaeological question approved in advance by their adviser. The project may be done in a variety of ways and places; for example, it may be excavation (fieldwork), or work in another aspect of archaeology in a museum or laboratory, or in an area closely related to archaeology such as geology or computer science. Students are encouraged to propose projects related to their special interests. This project may be, but does not need to be, one for which the student receives academic credit. If the project is an extensive one for which academic credit is approved by the registrar and the advisory committee, it may count as one of the six courses required for this minor.

No more than two courses counting toward the student’s major program may be counted toward the archaeology minor. Only four credits of a language course may be counted toward the minor.

Programs are to be arranged by the student in consultation with the adviser for the minor and should be submitted to the faculty advisory committee for review.

Not more than two courses from a student's major may count toward the minor. Only 4 credits of a language course may count toward the archaeology minor.

Students interested in archaeology are encouraged to speak with any of the advisers in the program. Always check the Smith College Course Search as well as the Five College Course Catalog, for relevant courses.

Opportunities & Resources

Students have worked on geographical surveying in Idaho, as volunteer excavators in the Athenian Agora and on many other projects. (Smith has been represented in greater numbers than any other undergraduate college in the students chosen to dig in the prestigious excavations at the Athenian Agora.) Smith is a founding member of the American Academy in Roma and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and Smith students have been admitted most every year to the highly competitive summer programs at both institutions. In addition, Smith institutional memberships and affiliations include the American Schools of Oriental Research, the American Journal of Archaeology (founding member 1885 and a founding member of the society that supports the journal), and the Inter-Collegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (charter member 1964). Smith students benefit from programs offered by these institutions and our faculty are active in all of these organizations.

Archaeological Field School Databases 

Archaeology Listservs
ARCHNet offers a list of discussion groups, updated every year. Check out how to subscribe to the AIA list at this site under "general."

Archaeology on the Net
Archaeology Web Resources Index (more than 1,000 sites organized by more than 30 categories)


Archaeology Program

Rebecca Davis
Hillyer Hall 102A
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3102
Fax: 413-585-3119