With 13 tenure-track 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? ]


Dr. Jon Carter provides analysis on the Honduran caravan

Dr. Jon Carter provides analysis on the Honduran caravan in new interview with La Voce di New York."The June 2009 coup against president Manuel Zelaya...

Anthropology Faculty honored at College of Arts & Sciences Awards Ceremony

On October 24, 2018, Dr. Alice P. Wright was announced as the winner of the William C. Strickland Outstanding Junior Faculty of the Year Award for the...

Dr. Tom Whyte receives teaching award at Fall Faculty and Staff Meeting

Dr. Thomas Whyte received a UNC Board of Governors Campus Excellence in Teaching Award at the Fall Faculty and Staff Meeting on Sept. 7. He is the fir...

Anthropology major, Mackenzie Morgan, and USAS battle sweatshop purchases

Anthropology major Mackenzie Morgan and her colleagues worked tirelessly to get AppState to negotiate with Alta Gracia to bring a new line of apparel ...

Mikayla Absher presents at the Cherokee Archaeology Symposium

Mikayla Absher, an anthropology major, recently presented at the 8th Annual Cherokee Archaeology Symposium in Cherokee, hosted by the EBCI Tribal Hist...

Dr. Timothy J. Smith elected to Council of Chairs leadership position

Dr. Timothy J. Smith has been elected as the Co-Chair of the Council of Chairs at Appalachian State University. The Council of Chairs is composed...

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Featured Stories

Alumni spotlights

  • Autumn Melby ('18), Archaeology

    Autumn Melby, a graduate of the Anthropology Department, took the time to share her personal experience within the field of anthropology and some of her thoughts about Appalachian State’s Anthropology Department. Autumn is from Broadway, North Carolina. She majored in anthropology with a multidisciplinary concentration and a focus in 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.