With 14 full-time faculty members and 150 majors, we are the largest undergraduate-only anthropology department in the United States. 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. [ Why study anthropology? ]


Anthropology faculty bring Hostile Terrain 94 Exhibit to Appalachian State University

August – September 2021Sponsored by the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences Organized by the Department of AnthropologySpecial thank...

Anthropology major, Edgar Villeda, awarded Rachel Carson Council Fellowship

Edgar Villeda, a senior majoring in Anthropology (BS) - biological anthropology from Selma, has been awarded a fellowship with the Rach...

The Department welcomes Dr. Krista A. Lewis

The Department welcomes Dr. Krista A. Lewis, who joins the faculty on July 1, 2021. Dr. Lewis is coming to Appalachian State from the University of Ar...

Welcome our new Administrative Support Specialist, Anna Brown

Welcome our new Administrative Support Specialist, Anna Brown...

Ricki Draper ('19) featured in LiKEN story on water affordability

Ricki Draper ('19) featured in LiKEN story on water affordability  https://likenknowledge.org/2021/03/05/how-much-is-a-glass-of-water/...

Aric Thoresen ('16) on combining anthropology and teaching

After Aric Thoresen received his degree in anthropology from Appalachian State University in 2016, he travelled throughout Latin America and became TE...

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Alumni spotlights

  • David Kilby

    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.

Faculty spotlights

  • Dr. Gregory Reck leaves a legacy of inspired teaching

    After forty-six years, Dr. Gregory Reck is retiring from his job as a professor for Appalachian State’s Department of Anthropology.  He started his career at Appalachian in 1972. Dr. Reck came to Appalachian after teaching at the District of Columbia Teachers College and the University of Maryland. He helped form the Department of Anthropology and served as the first chair of the Department.

Student spotlights

  • Lauren Stander, Archaeology major

    When Lauren Stander took an Introduction to Archaeology class during her first year at Appalachian, she immediately decided to become an archaeology student. As a child, she found herself interested in what people throughout human existence have left behind, and how they lived. However, while Lauren had become somewhat exposed to archaeology as a discipline throughout her life, she was new to archaeology in the broader context of cultural anthropology. During her second year, Lauren took another anthropology class, Meso-American Cultures, which particularly struck her.