Archaeology Program

The night of time far surpasseth the day, and it is the task of archaeology to light up some parts of this long night with its torch, which burns ever with a clearer flame with each advancing step into the darkness.

With these words, Charles Eliot Norton, founder of the Archaeological Institute of America, clearly expressed his belief in the value of archaeological investigation as a significant historical methodology as well as a humanistic endeavor in its own right. This is a belief and a passion shared by the faculty of Willamette University's Archaeology Program, the only undergraduate program in archaeology located at a liberal arts college in the far west. Our program is also distinctive for its interdisciplinary nature, involving artists and art historians, museum curators and anthropologists, historians, philologists, and scholars of religious studies, as well as geologists, paleoethnobotanists and other scientists. The core faculty of the Archaeology Program are all trained and experienced as field archaeologists with a broad geographical range of experience including especially Greece, Italy, Jordan, and Scotland. 

Willamette's program offers many exciting opportunities for students. For example, Willamette's own research Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA) offers several field school grants for students interested in participating in archaeological excavations around the world. Since 2007, students have used these grants to support work in Belize, Italy, Greece, Scotland, Syria, Romania, and Japan. The Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology also offers a paid summer internship opportunity for a student interested in museology at Willamette's own Hallie Ford Museum of Art (HFMA), a unique, hands-on introduction to the curatorial, educational, operational, and preparatory structure of a small university art museum. The museum also hosts frequent exhibitions of ancient artworks as well as displaying such works as part of its permanent collection (see links to the left). The Willamette University Archaeology Field School at the Ness of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands of Scotland provides an amazing opportunity for intensive, on-site training in archaeological methods and techniques. Willamette's Archaeology Program is also greatly enriched by the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (Salem AIA), chartered in 1995 and located at Willamette, which offers an annual program of eight to twelve illustrated lectures per year by world renowned archaeologists. For news about these events and all things archaeological at Willamette, we invite you to join our interactive facebook group for Alumni, Students, and Friends of Archaeology at Willamette University.

Scott Pike, Associate Professor of Geology and Archaeology