About Archaeology at Northwestern

Archaeology at Northwestern is characterized by the three key themes.

Understanding history

  • The understanding of history, with a focus on the archaeology of social complexity and inequality
  • A comparative approach to complex societies and political/cultural inequality around the world, from the ancient Maya to medieval and historical Europe to the American colonial experience
  • Commitment to analysis at different scales, from the study of everyday life and the household to the widest questions of social change

Theory and practice

  • A belief in the importance of rigorous and diverse theoretical approaches in the understanding of the past
  • Commitment to the interaction of theory and empirical research
  • A set of methods and intellectual questions that cross the borders between the humanities and the sciences

Intellectual context

  • A belief that scientific knowledge is always framed within social, cultural and political concerns
  • Archaeology as part of the wider project of an integrated four-field program, powered by the intellectual differences and complementary approaches of an holistic Anthropology