Research Areas

Our faculty members conduct archaeological research around the globe and strongly uphold the value of world archaeology, which exposes students to a diversity of geographic regions, research problems, and fieldwork styles.

Within this world-spanning research, there are regions in which our faculty are most engaged:

people at an excavation site

Sub-Saharan Africa

Professor Jessica Thompson directs the Malawi Ancient Lifeways and Peoples Project, which aims to understand how hunter-gatherer social interactions changed in response to environmental shifts at the end of the Pleistocene and later during the Holocene.

People using an archaeological instrument out in a feild

Central & South America

Professor Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos directs the Cotzumalhuapa Archaeological Project at an ancient Maya city in Guatemala. Working in the Andes, Professor Richard Burger specializes in the emergence of complex societies and has conducted research in Peru since 1975.

excavation site

Mediterranean & Classical World

In Classics, Professor Milette Gaifman is a scholar of ancient Greek art and archaeology, and Professor Andrew Johnston is an ancient historian whose research interests lie Roman culture. Dr. Andrew Koh of the Peabody Museum directs the Yale Ancient Pharmacology Program.

excavation site in Egypt

Ancient Egypt

The Egyptology program in the Department of Near Eastern Cultures & Languages includes council members Professor John C. Darnell, Professor Nadine Moeller, and Dr. Gregory Marouard, all of whom direct archaeological excavations in Egypt and its neighboring regions.

Man with hand on rock wall with striations

Near East & Southwest Asia

Several council members focus on the Near East and the surrounding regions: Dr. Ellery Frahm (Anthropology), Dr. Agnete Lassen (Yale Babylonian Collection), and Professors Harvey Weiss and Eckart Frahm (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations).

group of students digging and surrounded by large rocks

Inner Asia

Professor William Honeychurch studies nomadic political organization on the Eurasian steppe, primarily Mongolia. How small groups of pastoral nomads assembled complex polities reveals different approaches to political relationships, state organization, and inter-cultural contact.  

Asian excavation site with farm feilds in the background

East & Southeast Asia

Professor Anne P. Underhill specializes in the archaeology of East Asia, primarily China. Her focus has been understanding changes in regional settlement and economic organization during the late prehistoric and early Bronze Age periods in the Rizhao area of southeastern Shandong.