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Archaeology and Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humankind, broadly defined. Anthropologists research the biology, culture, and archaeology of humans from our earliest hominin ancestors to modern peoples today. At Coastal Carolina University, our strong archaeological focus fosters interdisciplinary research and inquiry into the lives and lifeways of historic and prehistoric people. Focused on the Lowcountry of South Carolina and its unique heritage, the our work also incorporates a global perspective, with faculty who work locally and internationally. Building on the invaluable archaeological studies of former professor James L. Michie, archaeologists and anthropologists at Coastal Carolina University conduct research and outreach that bring together students, faculty, and the community. We offer a range of courses, from introductory cultural anthropology, human evolution, and archaeology classes, to upper-level field and laboratory courses, regional seminars, and training in Cultural Resource Management laws and practice. Our students go on to jobs in field archaeology and museums, as well as graduate programs in anthropology. 


Archaeology and Anthropology is designed to support interdisciplinary research at Coastal Carolina University.  Students and faculty work together with community members and volunteers to explore local heritage and prehistory. Our faculty consist of Dr. Carolyn Dillian, an archaeologist; Dr. Gillian Richards-Greaves, a cultural anthropologist; Dr. David Palmer, a historical archaeologist; and Ms. Nicole Isenbarger, laboratory instructor. Faculty in other departments also contribute to Anthropology at CCU.

Dr. Carolyn Dillian, Associate Professor (

Dr. David Palmer, Assistant Professor (

Dr. Gillian Richards-Greaves, Assistant Professor (

Ms. Nicole Isenbarger, Teaching Associate (

Program Highlights

CCU Students Work on Excavation in South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University students excavated a prehistoric, Native American shell midden site on the Little River Neck of South Carolina during Maymester 2015 as part of the Prehistoric Archaeological Field School (ANTH 395). You can read more and view pictures of the dig.  

Dr. Dillian and Students Work at Koobi Fora, Kenya, Summer 2014

Dr. Carolyn Dillian will return to the famous site of Koobi Fora, Kenya, this summer to continue her archaeological research with the Koobi Fora Field School, a partnership between George Washington University and the National Museums of Kenya. Two former CCU students accompanied her for the summer of 2014. If you're interested in participating in the program, please contact Dr. Dillian for more information.