Lab Activities

Southwestern Archaeology

Capabilities & Services




The Anthropology Laboratories conducts a variety of archaeological, ethnographic, educational, and applied anthropological projects each year. These projects range in size from less than an acre to over 2,000 contiguous acres and archaeological duration from a single day to multi-stage, multi-year efforts. The majority of our archaeological projects involve surface mapping and inventory surveys, with the remainder being archaeological testing and excavation.Ethnographic work has included observational analysis of visitor behavior at parks, interviews and assessments of the public's attitudes. Most projects have been carried out in northern Arizona and adjacent parts of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. We have done work on all public lands within this region, including lands under the jurisdiction of tribal authorities, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the USDA Forest Service, and the States of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. We have also worked extensively on private lands.

Many of the projects of the Anthrpology Laboratories have been a result of individually negotiated fixed price contracts; others have been a conducted under continuing, cost-reimbursable contracts. In addition to the individual reports on these specific projects, our recent work in northern Arizona has resulted in the completion of several Master’s thesis in anthropology, and several journal articles and papers presented at professional meetings. 

The Anthropology Laboratories have been a leader in the National Park Service's "
Vanishing Treasures" initiative, and have conducted ruins assessment, documentation, and mapping projects at numerous National Park Service units in the Southwest. Work on Vanishing Treasures projects is ongoing, and the NAU Anthropology Laboratories is actively pursuing new techniques, methods, and theories of architectural documentation and ruins preservation. The Anthropology Laboratories has also emerged as a leader in ruins preservation training , particularly training of Native American ruins preservations specialists. Currently, NAU Anthropology graduates constitute a substantial proportion of the ruins preservation specialists and cultural resource managers in the American Southwest.



Dept. of Anthropology, P.O. Box 15200,
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5200, USA.