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Your research-oriented courses will include specialized training that typically is available only to graduate students at large institutions. Hamilton is one of the rare undergraduate institutions that offer a geoarchaeology major: As a major, you may conduct field research in geology and archaeology at sites in the Florida Keys, Hawaii or the European Alps. You’ll regularly do field work in Central New York. Student research with faculty members could lead to publication in a scholarly journal or to a presentation at a conference.

About the Major

The program represents a new generation of innovative, interdisciplinary study in the earth sciences. Using geologic methods and principles to better interpret and understand the archaeologic record, geoarchaeology has undergone tremendous growth in recent decades.

The focus on writing at Hamilton was certainly an advantage to me as a graduate student and researcher. Writing is a hugely important part of science.

Mary Beth Day ’07 — Geosciences major

Geoarchaeology is a research-oriented bridge between geosciences and archaeology, combining a broad course sequence in anthropology, geosciences and supporting fields with specialized coursework and a senior project. The focus is on topics such as geochronology, stratigraphic succession, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and landscape evolution.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Senior Principal Scientist, Hazen and Sawyer, P.C.
  • Ph.D. Student, University of Cambridge
  • Acting Executive Director, The Quivira Coalition

Contact Information


Geoarchaeology Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Principles of Geoscience: The Marine Environment 112S


An introduction to the physical, chemical and biological nature of the marine environment. Topics include marine geology, seawater composition, atmosphere/climate, ocean circulation, waves, tides, coastal processes, life in the sea, ocean resources and marine pollution. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Principles of Geoscience: Evolution and the Environment 115S


This course looks at the intersection of life and earth history as a lens for understanding fundamental concepts in geology. Evolution will be studied on multiple scales from the origins of life in deep time, to hominin evolution in the Quaternary, to looking ahead to how we may have to culturally evolve in the face of anthropogenic climate change. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 211F


A study of the genesis and diagenesis of clastic, carbonate, evaporite and other important sediments and rocks. Emphasis on fluid dynamics of grain transport, facies architecture, seismic stratigraphy and paleoclimatic/ tectonic significance of depositional sequences. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Mineralogy 220F


An introduction to crystallography, crystal chemistry and optical mineralogy. Identification of minerals by physical, optical and X-ray diffraction techniques. Six hours of class/laboratory with field trip. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Soils and the Environment 236F


A study of the formation, classification, utilization and environmental significance of soils. Frequent local field trips. Three hours of class and two hours of laboratory. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Paleontology 290F


A study of the history of life, evolution and the fossil record. Topics include the general principles of paleontology, nomenclature, taxonomy, identification techniques, fossilization processes, plants, microfossils, invertebrates and vertebrates. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips.

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