What We Do

Mission Statement

The mission of the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) is to encourage and carry out archaeological field and laboratory research conducted by U.C. Berkeley archaeologists and related specialists. As a field of research, archaeology is inherently interdisciplinary and collaborative; not only are there intimate research collaborations among natural scientists, social scientists and/or humanities scholars, but archaeology is practiced by scholars who expectedly hold faculty and/or research positions in a variety of departments, ranging from Classics to Earth and Planetary Science.
2251 CollegeCurrently, 38 U.C. Berkeley faculty members from 10 departments and Organized Research Units are active participants in the Facility that is located in the 2251 College Building on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Thus, as an Organized Research Unit, the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) has as its mission to make efficient use of resources, including laboratory facilities, to practitioners across campus; to develop resources and programs that benefit numerous scholars and their students, and thus to minimize duplication while being able to expand the requisite support - laboratory, equipment, funding - for an active, international field discipline such as archaeology.
The Archaeological Research Facility has experienced growth and increasing health, particularly over the past 8 years. A newsletter has been developed; the mailing list is well over 1000; guidelines and committees to oversee the administration of over $1,000,000.00 in endowments have been established; the external grant totals have continued to increase and graduate student research can now be facilitated and supported through extramural grants and endowments; an educational outreach program has been initiated; new collaborative teaching and research relationships have been established among Berkeley and wider University of California archaeologists and researchers; and scholars of international repute, drawing crowds of over 400, have been among the sponsored lectures. We are particularly pleased that we have been able to develop such an expanded repertoire of scholarship and research, given what is without question a "bare bones" budget.
The Facility is headed by a full-time faculty member, who receives no "release time" from teaching. Our Director is Anthropology Professor Laurie Wilkie. The Facility is supported by Tomeko Wyrick (Programmatic Officer/Outreach Coordinator), and Nico Tripcevich (Laboratory Manager).
The Facility is governed by an Advisory Committee, appointed annually by the Vice Chancellor for Research's office upon the recommendation of the Director which consists of at least 5 members, to be drawn from a variety of departments or units on campus. There is a 3-person Publications Committee, to work with the Editor and oversee publications decisions and plans; and a Stahl Endowment Review Committee (see below).
The Archaeological Research Facility is involved in five major areas of scholarly activity
  1. Fundraising; the facilitation of funding requests; and the administration of grant funds and of endowments. Stahl and Braun forms are online for internal grants.
  2. Publishing reports through an open-access website at eScholarship.org (California Digital Library) that has been established to distribute field and laboratory reports generated from ARF-affiliated research.
  3. Sponsoring lectures and meetings and practical workshops for students, faculty, and the public. These events, as well as any archaeology-related event elsewhere at UC Berkeley, are posted and cross-listed using the ARF Events website hosted by the UC Berkeley Cal Events calendar system.
  4. Continued renovation and enhancement of equipment in ARF laboratories for soils and artifact analysis, archaeological chemistry, as well as a computer laboratory for quantitative analyses, GIS studies, and multimedia work. The ARF maintains a USDA Exotic Soils permit for storing foreign soil samples in our labs. ARF also provides field equipment for our researchers, together with training workshops to ensure that these instruments are being used appropriately. ARF field equipment has been used in coordination with off-campus consultants and research, please contact our lab manager for further information about using ARF equipment and joining our workshops.
  5. Developing the new program of archaeology outreach education with area schools. For Anyone interested in contributing toward the accomplishment of our goals and furthering archaeological work at UC Berkeley, please see our development page.
A Few Notes on What We Don't Do
  • As an Organized Research Unit, we are not directly involved in the teaching or scheduling of classes. If you have questions about archaeology courses offered at UC Berkeley or about undergraduate and graduate programs involving archaeology, please contact the relevant departments (e.g., Anthropology or Near Eastern Studies).
  • We do not appraise the value or authenticity of artifacts, so please do not call us with such questions. We encourage you to leave all suspected artifacts and other archaeological material where you find them (whether in your back yard, an antique shop, or a foreign country) and to visit museums instead.