Archaeological Sciences

When it comes to archaeological education in Virginia, Roanoke College is leading the way. As the only college in the state that offers an archeological sciences program, we’ll prepare you to apply a variety of sciences and modern analyses in the field. Our courses are technology-based and team-based, which will make you a well-rounded candidate for any job or graduate program you pursue.

Archaeological sciences is inherently interdisciplinary as it combines biology, chemistry, computer science, art history, anthropology and more, so it goes perfectly with a number of majors and minors. You’ll develop skills that graduate schools are looking for, including hands-on lab skills, critical thinking, and the ability to collaborate and work across multiple disciplines. The concentration culminates in an individual archaeological sciences project, allowing you to focus on your interests and build close relationships with faculty.

We offer a concentration in archaeological sciences.

Young woman wearing ancient-looking gown

Research brings ancient queen’s garments back to life

When taking Dr. Leslie Warden’s Archaeology of Death class, Bella Moritz ‘22 became fascinated with the Sumerian queen Pu-abi. Moritz, an art history major, made it her mission to make a costume based on Pu-abi’s funerary garments. She received a Summer Scholars grant and researched the archaeological process conducted at the site of Ur, where Pu-abi’s remains were found.

Moritz explored the interactions between the materials and textiles based on archaeological evidence and completed her reconstruction of Pu-abi’s funerary garments. She wore them during History Homecoming and they went on display at Fintel Library during the 2021-22 academic year.

“I never dreamed that I would accomplish a project of this magnitude while still an undergraduate,” Moritz said. “Roanoke offers such unique opportunities for learning and exploration for undergraduate students.”

The research helped point Moritz on a professional path as well.

“Conducting this project also helped me realize that I was really passionate about the history of dress, and it inspired me to pursue a masters and a career in the museum world, specifically looking at the conservation of historical garments,” Moritz said.

students in the lab

Experiencing Egypt

Serena Soterakopoulos '18 and Jacob Friedrich '19, student ceramic research assistants, traveled to Elephantine Island, Egypt, for five weeks. They dove into the rich archaeological history while exploring the current vibrancy of the Egyptian culture.

We have the only program for this field of study in Virginia.