As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all.
The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
Department of Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology offers a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world — past, present and future.
In Appalachian State University a course of Experimental Archaeology is offered by the department of Anthropology for students interested in Archaeology and Cultural and Biological Anthropology. The course aims at immersing students in the practical application of experimental archaeology. In this course, students have a hands-on experience of the replication of processes that form and transform archaeological evidence. Field work is a key element, and it seems to be what makes this course a great success in the eyes of the students, as well as one of the reasons that it has gained visibility within the university press.
The Zooarchaeology Laboratory is dedicated to teaching classes, such as Zooarchaeology, Archaeological Laboratory Methods and Experimental Archaeology. The lab is home to the department's zooarchaeological comparative collections, which include thousands of skeletons of vertebrates and shells of molluscs to aid in the identification of animal remains recovered from archaeological sites. This collection is especially rich in skeletons of freshwater fishes from the South-eastern U.S. and marine fishes from the western Atlantic and Caribbean. Also maintained in this lab are comparative/teaching collections of plant remains and historic artefacts used in teaching Archaeological Laboratory Methods. The lab is also used for washing and sorting materials recovered by ASU’s archaeological field projects.
Another two laboratories, dedicated to lithic and ceramic artefacts, also contribute to the department’s archaeological research.
The Zooarchaeology lab is directed by Dr Thomas R. Whyte. Dr Whyte teaches a number of courses: Archaeology, Archaeology and the Human Past, Archaeological Lab Methods, Zooarchaeology, Experimental Archaeology. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee in 1988, and joined the Appalachian State University in 1989. His areas of research include southern Appalachian prehistoric archaeology, zooarchaeology and experimental archaeology. Recent research includes studies of animal remains from archaeological sites throughout the Southeast, with special focus on late prehistoric sites in western North Carolina such as the Garden Creek site complex in Haywood County, the Biltmore Mound in Buncombe County and various rock shelter sites in Watauga County.