Research Opportunities

As a student at Heidelberg you have the opportunity to take advantage of a multitude of research and learning experiences within the Anthropology Department that are not typically available at the undergraduate level. With an overall student-faculty ratio of 14:1, students have the ability to get to know their professors and explore potential avenues of study outside of the classroom. The study of human cultures, either through cultural or archaeological approaches, requires a holistic approach. This results in interdisciplinary research, allowing students to utilize various science and social science faculty to help guide their inquiries.

RingAny student at Heidelberg has the opportunity to conduct research within the Department of Anthropology. Most of our research opportunities are directly a result of archaeological investigations conducted through the Center for Historic and Military Archaeology (CHMA).

Apply for a Pepsi Fund Scholarship for independent research funds.

Additionally, the Archaeological Laboratory has faunal, glass and ceramic comparative collections and cultural assemblages from prehistoric and historic period sites that are also available for study. Independent research projects have included ethnobotanical, lithic glass, shell and ceramic cultural materials. Ongoing research at the Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison site provides ample opportunities for cultural material and historic document research.


Dig SiteIndependent Study

Independent Study is a great opportunity for students to explore a topic that is not covered under our normal curriculum, or to investigate a particular research question. Most independent study courses are three credit hours and replace a course that a student may otherwise be enrolled in. The Anthropology Department encourages students to begin to think independently about their research interests through this opportunity. Cultural area courses are popular as are cultural material analyses courses.

Cultural Material Analysis

The Archaeological Laboratory at Heidelberg (located in Gillmor Science Hall) houses collections from nationally significant historic sites. The Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison Site (1861-1866) also contains extensive collections of prehistoric Native American materials representing occupations from the late Paleo through Late Prehistoric eras. All of these materials are available to Heidelberg students for directed research. The three major collections of historic archaeological materials are all very tightly provenienced and provide very narrow chronological windows in which to examine research questions related to cultural materials. For instance, at the Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison site, the latrines that have been excavated can be identified to specific years within the prison’s use. This allows, for instance, very specific technological studies of cultural materials found within these tightly dated latrines.