Mission Statement

The mission of the Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) is to encourage, facilitate, and expedite field and laboratory research conducted by U.C. Berkeley archaeologists and related specialists engaged with the human past. 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.

ARF's Acknowledgement of the Land upon which UC Berkeley sits can be read on this webpage.

Who We Are

Currently, 41 U.C. Berkeley faculty members from 11 departments and Organized Research Units are active participants in the Archaeological Research Facility, which is located in the 2251 College Building on the U.C. Berkeley campus. As a hub for archaeology at U.C. Berkeley, we work to develop resources (including laboratory facilities and workshops) that benefit numerous scholars and their students and make these resources available to practitioners across campus. This minimizes duplication while expanding the requisite support - laboratory, equipment, and research funding - for an active, international discipline such as archaeology. 

The Archaeological Research Facility is headed by a full-time faculty member, who receives no "release time" from teaching. Our director is Anthropology Professor Christine Hastorf. The Facility is supported by Nico Tripcevich (Associate Director), Kass Cazier (Program Assistant), and Sarah Kansa (Program Associate). The Archaeological Research Facility is governed by an Advisory Committee, which consists of at least 5 members of the faculty members, drawn from a variety of departments and units on campus. There is a 3-person Publications Committee to oversee our now regular book publications, and endowment review committees for both the Stahl and Braun endowments, which oversee the granting of research funds to ARF associates and graduate students. ARF also has a future-looking board called ARFutures that plans and organizes off-campus public events of an archaeological nature to promote archaeology in the community. 

The Archaeological Research Facility has experienced growth and increasing health recently. Scholars of international repute regularly present at our regular sponsored lectures and we have an active public engagement program that leverages the knowledge and expertise of our diverse community. Archaeologists from Berkeley and the wider University of California system have established new collaborative teaching and research relationships. The Facility's five laboratories and field equipment are kept up to date as communal resources (including software licenses) to facilitate a wide range of materials research. We have established guidelines and committees to oversee the administration of several endowments for archaeological research. 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. We communicate regularly with our growing community via our website and a mailing list of well over 1000 members (if you are not yet a member, please subscribe to our list). 

Our Four Areas of Scholarly Activity
  1. Facilitating scholarship and discovery with annual grants from two endowments for archaeological research, as well as the administration of external grant funds. 
  2. Broadening access to archaeology to archaeology by sponsoring events, including public lectures, school visits, collaborations with local museums, and participation in events such as Cal Day. These events, as well as any archaeology-related event elsewhere at U.C. Berkeley, are posted and cross-listed using the ARF Events website hosted by the U.C. Berkeley Cal Events calendar system. 
  3. Documenting and preserving research through a robust, open access publication series. All field and laboratory research reports generated from ARF-affiliated research can be found at eScholarship.org (California Digital Library)
  4. Promoting archaeological science by providing laboratory space, state-of-the-art field and laboratory equipment, stores for soil, ecofact and artifact analysis, and training for the use of such facilities and equipment. The ARF houses five laboratories, including an archaeological chemical lab, an image lab, a computer lab, an XRF lab, and a soils lab. 
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 U.C. 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.

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