Minor in Anthropological Archaeology

Anthropological archaeology is the study of history through an anthropological lens. Like other archaeologists, we look at history via material things and the circumstance of peoples’ lives. The anthropological view directs us to consider the commonalities of human experience (such as our biology) as well as the particulars of culture in history.  Much of anthropological archaeology includes the study of indigenous history; as a result our study includes an examination of the endeavor of studying across cultural difference and the historical context of the discipline of archaeology itself.

At UBC, our anthropological archaeology program focuses on applied methods including mapping/GIS, data management, dietary reconstruction via isotopic analysis, osteology, lithic analysis, zooarchaeology, and partnerships with descent communities in research, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge. The new minor is designed to give students a full grounding in disciplinary standards while making use of our strengths in research and laboratory facilities.

Students are encouraged to craft any combination of courses that fulfills the minor requirements (ARCL 103/140, 203 or 204, and 305), a minimum of 18 credits of 3rd and 4th year ARCL courses, totaling at least 30 credits; note that ANTH 418 counts toward the ARCL minor).  However, we have also outlined three potential pathways through the minor, variants in bioarchaeology, anthropological archaeology, and First Nations heritage management.  Please see the calendar content below for specifics.


UBC Senate has approved the new Minor in Anthropological Archaeology, to come into effect July 1, 2015.   The changes to the Calendar entry for Anthropology is listed here, but please note the following:

  • In order to make the minor available to ANTH majors, all anthropological archaeology course codes were changed from ANTH to ARCL. The courses remain the same.
  • The minor is available to non-anthropology students who complete the requirements.  A Minor in Anthropology continues to be a program option for all UBC students.
  • Students may still pursue a Major in Anthropology with (or without) an archaeological focus as before since all ARCL courses fulfill the same requirements they did previously as ANTH courses.
  • Students who choose to take a Major in Anthropology and a Minor in Anthropological Archaeology must meet the requirements of both separately. Following UBC rules, only 6 credits can be used in two different programs simultaneously.
  • Students who take a Minor in Anthropological Archaeology will have this program noted on their transcripts.

Minor in Anthropological Archaeology

All students considering the Minor in Anthropological Archaeology are encouraged to seek advising with the Anthropology undergraduate advisor prior to enrolling in the program. Students who combine a major in anthropology and minor in archaeology can only double-count a maximum of 6 credits to both and must otherwise use ARCL courses for the archaeology minor and ANTH courses for the anthropology major. ANTH 418 can be counted to either program.

At least 30 credits (but no more than 42 credits) in anthropological archaeology, including ARCL 103 or 140, 203 or 204, and 305, plus 3 credits in applied research methods (ARCL 306, 405, 406, 424, 425, 430, ANTH 418, 433, 495). At least 18 credits must be at the 300-level or above.

There are three recommended pathways through the minor in addition to the above requirements:

  • Anthropological Archaeology variant – Required courses plus 21 credits from:
    • ARCL 103, 204, 231, 232, 306, 309, 318, 319, 321,-324, 405, 406, 419, 420, 430, ANTH 418.
  • Bioarchaeology variant – Required courses plus 21 credits from:
    • ARCL 140, 204, 228, 309, 325, 326, 406, 419, 425, 430, ANTH 418.
  • First Nations Heritage Management/Cultural Resource Management variant – Required courses plus 21 credits from:
    • ARCL 140, 204, 231, 306, 309, 318, 405, 406, 419, 420, 424, 425, 430, ANTH 418.

Undergraduate Courses

The following are general courses open to all students:

ANTH 100, 200, 201, 202, 213, 214, 215, 217, 220, 221, 227, 232.

ARCL 103, 140, 203, 204,and 228.

ANTH 449 (limited to non-majors and students in the General B.A. Program with appropriate prerequisites or permission of the instructor).

Other ANTH and ARCL courses are intended primarily for students in the minors, major and honours programs.

ANTH 100 is a prerequisite to all ANTH courses and ARCL 103 is a prerequisite to all ARCL courses in the department except those described above as “general,” unless specific permission of a departmental advisor is obtained.