In the News


MPC ranked in the top 50 Most Impressive College Museums

The Museum of Peoples and Cultures ranked in the top 50 most impressive college museums for 2017-2018 at college values online. Click Here to read more. 


Graduate Student Wins Student Sponsorship Award

BYU Archaeology graduate student, Spencer Lambert, won the Student Sponsorship Award at this year's Utah Professional Archaeological Council meeting for his abstract on strontium isotopic analysis. Click Here to read more. 


Anthropology Students Presenting at the 2015 AAAs


BYU Anthropology students will present findings from their fieldwork in Southeast Asia and Africa at the 2015 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting taking place from November 18-22 in Denver, CO.  More information can be found by clicking here​

·         Mary Cook: Transforming Marginality: Redefining Hmong Ethnic and Female Identity through Development in Sapa, Vietnam 

·         Brittany Ann Paxton: Person Centered Ethnography in Gender and Tourism Studies

·         Seth Meyers: The Political Economics of Captured Brides: Towards a New Perspective on the Socioeconomic Implications of Kev Zij Pojniam in Two Hmong Villages

·         Daniel Cardoza: Compounding Moral Personhood: How Conversion Changes Everything, or Not

·         Eric Austin Gillett: Finding the Deontological within the Ontological 

·         Jessica Andrus: An Ethnography of Changing Attitudes about Education Among the Himba of Namibia 


Raders of the Prehistoric


BYU Graduate students presented at the 2015 Utah State History Conference on October 2, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT.  The BYU College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences wrote an article about our students, which can be found here.

  • DANIEL KING: Jurassic Jones: The Archaeology of Paleontology
  • JOSEPH BRYCE: Marks in the Clay: Impressions and What They Tell Us
  • MADISON N. M. PEARCE: Prehistoric Diets and Medicines of the Utah Great Basin: Using Ethnohistory to Explore Botanical Remains From Spotted Cave Human Coprolites




Provo Mayor Curtis Visits Archaeology Field School ​​



Scott Ure gave Provo City's Mayor, John Curtis, an upclose view of our work at the Hinckley Mounds.


UAV Over Chihuahua 

wadi matah jewlry.jpg

Michael Searcy and Schott Ure Flying a UAV over archaeological sites in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Their work is part of ongoing projects in the region affiliated with the department.


Faculty, Staff, & Students Present at Local Conference


Archaeology faculty, staff, & students presented on their research at the 62nd annual Utah State History Conference: Utah Technology Through Time in Salt Lake City on September 25-17, 2014.


  • PAUL STAVAST: "Museums as Technology: The Intersection of Utah's Deseret Museum, the Early Twentieth-Century Museum, and James E. Talmage"
  • SCOTT M. URE: "Unmanned Aerial Systems and Their Application in Archaeology"
  • JOSEPH BRYCE: "Sound of Music: Whistles at Fremont Sites"
  • JACLYN MARIE ECKERSLEY: "The High-Volume Artifact Processor: The Machine and its Implications"
  • DANIEL KING: "A Comparison of Corrugation"
  • SHELLEY WATTS: "The Applications and Benefits of Photogrammetry in Archaeology"




Findings from BYU Wadi Mataha Expedition 

wadi matah jewlry.jpg

These pieces of jewelry were uncovered by Dr. Johnson, Dr. Finlayson and their students, found with the skull of an 8 to 12 year old girl's grave site in Wadi Mataha, Jordan. The jewelry's materials have been identified as gold, amethyst, carnelian​ and agate.


New Faculty Hire

Greg Thompson (PhD, University of Chicago) has recently accepted a faculty position in the Anthropology Department. As an anthropologist of education, Dr. Thompson studies micro-cultural contexts of learning. He is particularly interested in how "teaching" and "learning" are effectively (or not) accomplished through language. In this work, Dr. Thompson brings an anthropological approach to issues that have traditionally been thought of in psychological terms such as motivation, emotion, and engagement. He conducted field work for his dissertation in a low-income inner-city African-American community on the south side of Chicago and will be the first sociocultural faculty member to set up a local field school in Provo for undergraduate students. His recent publications include pieces on dialogic pedagogy, collaboration, and the science of qualitative research. To learn more about Greg and his research, click here​.



Senior Thesis Symposium


PROVO, UT - Students from both the sociocultural and archaeology subdisciplines in the anthropology program will gather on Friday, April 11th will present their research on a variety of panels as part of the senior thesis process. Students in the sociocultural anthropology major are required to design research and carry out ethnographic fieldwork for several months in a location approved by the department. Current field schools include Thailand, Guernsey, Ecuador, Namibia, and India. Upon returning from the field school, students begin to integrate their data into writing and look for potential publishing opportunities. Topics presented at the symposium range from Hmong polygyny to Fremont bone beads. The Symposium will be held from 10:00 to 4:00 in room 270 of the Brimhall Building (BRMB) (UPDATED ROOM). 



Thailand and India Field Schools Featured in BYU Alumni Magazine


The BYU Alumni Magazine has published two features that cover two of the field schools offered by our faculty. The story on Dr. Charles Nuckolls's program in Visakhapatnam, India can be read here, and a feature on Dr. Jacob Hickman's program in Thailand can be read here. These programs represent some of the advanced training that we offer anthropology and archaeology students in our department. You can find out more about these programs on the Field Schools tab in the navigation bar on the left.


Original Provo Tabernacle Excavation

PROVO, UT—Following the announcement that the Provo Tabernacle building would be converted into a temple, BYU’s Office of Public Archaeology (OPA) was asked to conduct an archaeological excavation of the First/Original Provo Tabernacle (OPT) in order to document and record this significant historic structure before it is impacted by construction activities at the site.

Dedicated by Apostle John Taylor in 1867, the OPT is one of the oldest tabernacles built by the Mormon pioneers.  For more than 50 years the OPT stood at the center of religious and social life in Provo, Utah.  A number of prominent early Church leaders spoke from its pulpit, including Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff.  For many years it stood side by side with the Second Provo Tabernacle, forming an inspiring setting at the center of Provo.  There are few, if any, other sites in all of Utah that have as well-preserved remains of a pioneer structure of this magnitude.

Metal Ornament.png 

The historic integrity of the existing foundations and associated artifacts is exceptional.  Though only the foundations of the original tabernacle remain, remnants of two stairways, a foyer, multiple fireplaces, and a vestry have been uncovered.  By carefully looking at the stone used to construct the foundations and dirt that lay just under the original wood floors of the structure, archaeologists have gained significant insights into how the building was constructed.  A variety of artifacts have also been recovered from this project.  These include nails, glass, coins, buttons, marbles, toys, jewelry, and a fountain pen, just to list a few.

The OPT site has yielded significant information about the pioneer past, and excavations have ensured that irreplaceable information about the structure and the pioneers who built it, worshipped in it, and otherwise used it, is preserved for future generations. ​


Small metal ornament recovered 
during excavation

Other N​ews Stories

Provo Tabernacle (OPA)

Wolf Village (Anthropology Department)

Mining on the Swell (Dr. Searcy/OPA)

Fort Harmony Excavation (OPA)