The Department of Archaeology was established in 1971, by Dr. Roy Carlson, with a focus on the archaeology of the Pacific Northwest, and a strong emphasis on fieldwork and establishment of secure relationships with First Nations communities. The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology was also established at this time as part of the Department, to receive and curate archaeological materials from department excavations, and to collect and exhibit anthropological materials for public education purposes.

The Department went through major transitions in early 1980s with construction of department offices and labs, and again with a major expansion of science labs in 2007. Over the years the faculty complement grew and established the current focus on First Nations heritage and resource management, archaeological/environmental science, and biological anthropology including forensics. Many of our faculty have received numerous recognitions and honors including Canada Research Chairs and Royal Society of Canada Fellowships.

The department has a very high reputation and is widely recognized internationally. QS International rankings has placed the Department in the top 50 departments of archaeology in the world since it began ranking archaeology. Most recently, in the 2021 ranking, the SFU Department of Archaeology is placed 17th in the world, 7th in North America, and 1st in Canada.

We offer major and honours in Archaeology, double majors in Archaeology, Anthropology, and Indigenous Studies, as well as certificates in Biological Anthropology and Cultural Resource Management. We also offer our traditional MA and PhD programs and since 2016 a Professional Heritage Resource Management MA and graduate diploma. Many of our graduate students have moved on to important positions in Academia or jobs in the private sector. Our undergraduate students dominate the private sector in the heritage resource consulting industry in BC.

In 2021 we are celebrating our 50th anniversary with a variety of in person and virtual initiatives and activities. Follow us on social media for more details.

If you are interested in learning more about us, contact us or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Hugo Cardoso
Professor and Department Chair