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Department of Anthropology

2017 Field School - Digging for Knowledge

Sitting in a hole, surrounded on all sides by layers of exposed soil in a 2-meter-long excavation unit, SUNY Potsdam junior Michael Madeiros ’19 uses a trowel to dig for artifacts on abolitionist John Brown’s farm... read more.

Atlatl Battle
Atlatl Battle 2016

The third annual Atlatl Battle took place this past fall on the SUNY Potsdam campus where our team brought home the trophy. The atlatl team offers fun ways for students to bond, interact with faculty outside of the classroom and learn more about ancient forms of technology.

Anthropology Club

In March 2017 a group of 20 Anthropology Club members travelled to Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts to attend the Northeastern Anthropological Association meetings. Learn more about the Anthropology Club

Blacksmith Photo
Hands-on Learning

Michael Madeiros, a soph. at SUNY Potsdam majoring in archaeological studies, forges a piece of metal during a fieldtrip to Farmhouse Forge in Potsdam as part of his experimental archeology class. Also pictured is James Gonzalez, left, owner and blacksmith at Farmhouse Forge, and SUNY Potsdam Professor Timothy Messner.

Lydia Rodriguez Photo
Faculty Research

Professor Lydia Rodriguez and her Chol friends getting ready to plant a cornfield in Chiapas, Mexico. Dr. Rodriguez is a linguistic anthropologist who teaches Cultures of Mexico and Central America, Language, Magic, and the Supernatural, among others. Learn more about our other courses here.

2017 Field School - Digging for Knowledge

Sitting in a hole, surrounded on all sides by layers of exposed soil in a 2-meter-long excavation unit, SUNY Potsdam junior Michael Madeiros ’19 uses a trowel to dig for artifacts on abolitionist John Brown’s farm... read more.

What is Anthropology? What is Archaeology?

Humans. We are a complex and diverse species, and anthropology gives us the tools to better understand who we are, how we used to be, and to shape what we might become.

To do so, the field brings together scholars from multiple subdisciplines. Archaeologists study past people using the material they leave behind. Biological anthropologists show us where biology and culture intersect. Cultural anthropologists explore the customs of people near and far, and linguistic anthropologists consider how and why we use language as we do. Applied anthropologists use knowledge created across the subdisciplines to help solve real-world problems in the present.

Anthropology and Archaeology at SUNY Potsdam

At Potsdam, students can explore all of these areas by majoring in Anthropology. And those who want to specialize in archaeology can declare an Archaeological Studies major, which brings together courses from multiple disciplines.

The programs in both Archaeological Studies and Anthropology stand out for their emphasis on:

Where Are They Now?


Alumna Rebecca Nelson

Dr. Rebecca Nelson, a SUNY Potsdam anthropology and archaeology alum, has been busy since graduating from Potsdam in 2007...read more.