With 17 faculty members and nearly 200 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? ]


Connor Elliott, anthropology major, participates in REU project in Ethiopia

Connor Elliott, anthropology major (concentration in biological anthropology), had the opportunity to conduct research in Ethiopia over the 2019-2020 ...

Dr. Cheryl P. Claassen to publish new book on 16th century religion in Mexico

Dr. Cheryl P. Claassen and her co-author, Dr. Laura Ammon (Department of Philosophy and Religion), will publish a new book on 16th century religion in...

Dr. Alice P. Wright's new book reviewed in The Columbus Dispatch

Dr. Alice P. Wright's new book reviewed in The Columbus Dispatch...

Anthropology alumnus, Dr. Christopher Moore ('97), has published a new article in the journal Nature

Dr. Christopher Moore ('97) has published a new paper on the Younger Dryas climate event that took place 12,800 years ago. The paper can be found...

Dr. Dana E. Powell receives project development grant from the ACLS

Dr. Dana E. Powell has received a $5,000 Project Development Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Applicants from teachin...

Dr. Christina Verano Sornito named Fulbright Scholar for 2020

Dr. Christina Verano Sornito, assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Anthropology, has been awarded a 2019–20 re...

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Featured Stories

  • 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.

Alumni spotlights

  • Christopher Moore

    Christopher R. Moore ('97), Archaeologist at the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP)

    After completing the Ph.D. program at ECU, Chris was hired by the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP) as a research archaeologist and public outreach coordinator.  In his position with the SRARP, Chris splits his time conducting educational outreach and research activities and has worked to integrate outreach with research and publication by training local volunteers to assist in fieldwork and lab analysis.

Faculty spotlights

Student spotlights

  • Abbey Huber, Social Practice and Sustainability major

    After taking a few classes in political science and global studies, Abbey Huber did not feel that the frameworks she had encountered in these classes compelled her. During her first year, and after some exasperation, Abbey’s Honors advisor suggested that she take Native America through Ethnography with Dr. Dana Powell. Taking that class, she cites, is what drove her to change her major to Anthropology.