William and Mary


“Archaeology is Anthropology or it is Nothing.”  

This classic description of our field epitomizes the approach taken by William & Mary’s Anthropology Department.  Anthropology is the study of human history and society, its material expressions, symbolic facets, and biological dimensions. As such, anthropology is an interdisciplinary and theoretically-grounded field that provides the interpretive framework for most American archaeology.  The artifacts, landscape features, botanical and biological specimens encountered in archaeological investigations are interpreted through the lens of culture, human adaptation, and the meaning-making that all human beings engage in. 

Our students and faculty in the William & Mary Anthropology Department also take seriously the need to engage and collaborate with descendant communities and various publics, ever mindful of the power of the past to influence the future.