Archaeology is the recovery and analysis of artifacts, architecture, and cultural landscapes to study past human activity. Degrees in archaeology are conferred at bachelor, master, and doctoral levels, and as either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. This form of study also pulls heavily from other disciplines, including linguistics, geography, and statistics, and typically requires extensive research. The ultimate goal is to excavate materials found in the field and analyze them to accurately attribute them to a period, place, culture, and/or event. However, this is an incredibly competitive field and typically requires postgraduate education, as well as extensive hands-on experience.
The focus for undergraduate degrees is largely ancient history, but often is sectioned out based on region. Focuses are typically required, as well as the study of a dead or modern language in the country or area of the chosen focus. Archaeology is often studied jointly, along with anthropology, history of art, classics, and history in general. It also often comes with a year-long study abroad program, so if that’s a must-have for you, many programs have them built in.
Prehistoric and classical archaeology are usually offered at the undergraduate level, while Medieval archaeology is typically reserved for master’s degrees. Prehistoric archaeology is the archetypal form—studying bones, monuments, artifacts, and more to answer the earliest questions about humankind. Classical archaeology refers to civilizations such as Ancient Greece or Rome and often requires studying a language that corresponds with the focus. Art and material culture are much more important in this form of archaeology.
Medieval archaeology is often studied alongside history of the same period and can be specialized even further, focusing on battlefields, castles, nautical, and even particular societies.
Career options for graduates with a degree in archaeology include: Archaeologist, Museum Gallery Curator or Exhibitions Officer, Archivist, Cartographer, Tourism Officer, Heritage Manager, Conservator, Social Researcher.