Team up with faculty on groundbreaking anthropological research.
The Department of Anthropology was founded in 1935 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alaska. The first undergraduate degrees in Anthropology were given in 1959, the first MA degrees in 1968 and the first PhD degrees in 1988. We are the only anthropology program in the United States that maintains a holistic approach to circumpolar studies, providing instruction and research in all aspects of anthropology.
We have a traditional focus on the circumpolar North. Recent departmental growth has resulted in a new thematic focus on language, culture, and evolution.
The graduate program offers students the opportunity to concentrate study in one of the four sub-fields, to gain research experience and training in the field and in the laboratory, and emphasizes empirical and applied studies.
News and Events
April 23rdFounded in 1902 on the north bank of the Tanana River, Chena was a bustling goldrush town home to thousands of miners and settlers that flocked to the region in search of prosperity. Chena rivaled its close neighbor Fairbanks as the commercial center of mining operations in the Alaska Interior. The rivalry lasted only a few short decades however before Fairbanks emerged victorious. Chena became a ghost town by 1920 and was all but forgotten. Little remains of the once thriving town. In the past two decades however, archaeologists have mapped, surveyed, and begun to excavate parts of Chena in hopes of better understanding its birth and abandonment. This year we will continue this research by conducting archaeological survey and excavations at the site where Chena once stood. The Chena Townsite is located just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Students will live in their own accommodations and report to the site daily. Students will provide their own lunches, but all tools and equipment will be provided. Participants will learn the fundamental skills of archaeological fieldwork while excavating and documenting historic structures and artifacts. They will examine artifacts, botanicals, sediments, and faunal materials to learn analytical techniques while providing insight into the lives of the traders, miners, and other members of this short-lived historic community.
April, 5th 2021The UA Museum's Geist Fund competition is now open. For student projects in archaeology, anthropology and paleontology that relate to collections at the Museums. Proposals are due April 5th and the award limit is $2500. For more information on the Geist Fund, visit https://www.uaf.edu/museum/collections/archaeo/geistfund/