We are one of the fastest growing departments with nearly 200 majors. As the largest undergraduate-only anthropology program in the state of North Carolina and the third largest program overall (behind UNC and Duke University), we offer both B.S. and B.A. degrees in several fields of anthropology. Despite the small number of faculty (10 full time tenure-track faculty [4 full professors, 2 associate professors, 4 assistant professors] and 1 senior lecturer), the Department ranks #4 in the College of Arts & Sciences for amount of degrees produced and #4 for amount of majors relative to the number of tenure line faculty. 


The Department of Anthropology is committed to a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world - past, present, and future. As such, the program in anthropology offers the opportunity for understanding world affairs and problems within the total context of the human experience and for constructing solutions to world problems which are firmly grounded in that context. Cultural anthropologists study people and their cultural practices and beliefs both within and outside of the United States as well as the topics of identity, power, inequality, and social praxis. Archaeologists study the material culture of past peoples in order to reconstruct their cultures, traditions, and practices in order to understand both what came before and how this may help us understand the present. Biological anthropologists study primate evolution and behavioral ecology, human biological variation, biocultural adaptations, bioarchaeology, and human paleontology. Together, we strive to understand both past and present variation in human societies. [ Welcome from the Chair ] [ Why study anthropology? ]


Professor Greg Reck publishes new book on American soccer, culture, and class
Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 12:06pm

A few years ago, Greg Reck found himself coaching two of his daughters in a Parks and Recreation soccer league with his friend, Bruce Dick. The two of them developed an interest in the cultural and social class landscape of U.S. soccer which has led to a new book, American Soccer: History, Culture, Class.

Study Abroad with the Department of Anthropology
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 12:48pm

The Department of Anthropology offers students three exciting opportunities to travel abroad: Spring (Mexico) and Summer (Ecuador and Ireland)

Department mourns the loss of one of its alumni
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 10:53am

The Department of Anthropology is saddened to hear of the sudden death of our recent alumnus, Dan Upchurch

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Alumni spotlights

Dr. David Kilby, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Eastern New Mexico University

Graduating from Appalachian with a B.A. in Anthropology in 1992, David attended Eastern New Mexico University where he completed a Master’s thesis on the geoarchaeology of Anasazi kivas in 1996. Meanwhile he cultivated an interest in Pleistocene archaeology and completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2008, focusing on Paleoindian archaeology.

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Faculty spotlights

Dr. Gwen Robbins Schug, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Gwen Robbins Schug is a bioarchaeologist interested in paleopathology, paleodemography, long bone ontogeny, bone histology, and South Asian prehistory.

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