Dynamic research on diverse biological and cultural aspects of the human condition, past and present, is a defining aspect of the Department of Anthropology. Faculty, staff, and students have studied lemurs, interviewed villagers, excavated tombs, identified murder victims, and much more. As can be seen on the Faculty Research Areas map, the research agendas of department members include field and laboratory studies on four continents funded by grants, contracts, and donations. Graduate and undergraduate students are involved in all of these endeavors, in roles ranging from field school participants to paid research assistants to almost-independent researchers. The Anthropology Department has six research centers and major projects as described below.
|Forensic Anthropology||Archaeological Studies|
|Arts and Symbolism||Middle American Research|
|The Gault Project||Ancient Southwest Texas|
|African Modder River Project||Mexican American Cemetery Project|
|Identifying Migrant Deaths in South Texas||Research Equipment|
Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State
The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) advances forensic science and anthropology through world-class education, research, and outreach. FACTS strives to be a premier nationally and internationally recognized academic training and research facility for forensic anthropology. FACTS provides a unique environment that stimulates innovative, creative, and interdisciplinary research that advances forensic anthropological knowledge, theory, and methods.
Center for Archaeological Studies
The Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS) is dedicated to conducting and promoting archaeological and anthropological research with a primary focus on compliance-based cultural resource management and student training. In 2008 CAS became certified by the State of Texas as an Archaeological Curation Facility and is home to over 100 archaeological collections. CAS also houses one of the most extensive and growing libraries pertaining to Texas archaeology with more than 5,000 volumes in our library.
Center for the Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America
The Center for the Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America (CASAA) is dedicated to conducting and promoting historical, archaeological, and anthropological research into the arts of ancient indigenous New World peoples. CASAA hosts conferences and workshops devoted to the study of ancient indigenous art and its tourism potential, and sponsors field trips and guest speakers. The center also helps train and support graduate and undergraduate student research with the goal of furthering student career development.
Center for Middle American Research
The Center for Middle American Research (CMAR) is dedicated to conducting and promoting historical, archaeological, and anthropological research into the history and cultures of Mesoamerican people. CMAR provides archaeological field research opportunites for undergraduate and graduate students in Mesoamerica. The current focus of CMAR field research is St George’s Caye off the coast of Belize, where an archaeological field school is held every summer.
Gault Archaeological Project
The Gault Archaeological Project is dedicated to research and education regarding the earliest peoples in the Americas with local work taking place at the famous Gault Site about 40 miles north of Austin. Though known and exploited by looters and collectors since the 1920’s the Gault Site has still yielded many surprises. The Gault Archaeological Project is supported by Texas State University, the nonprofit Gault School of Archaeological Research, along with numerous grants and donations.
Ancient Southwest Texas Project
Ancient Southwest Texas (ASWT) is a long-term research program with the broad aims of improving our understanding of the prehistoric human record of southwestern Texas and adjacent northern Mexico, sharing what we learn with the scholarly community and the public, and training the next generation of archaeologists. ASWT fieldwork in Lower Pecos Canyonlands includes archaeological field schools, graduate student field projects, and field expeditions ranging from one week to six months in length.
African Modder River Paleontological & Archaeological Project
The Modder River Paleontological & Archaeological Project is a long-term research project investigating the geological, paleoenvironmental, paleontological and archaeological records in the Modder River Basin’s Quaternary deposits. This research, a collaboration between Dr. James Brink (National Museum) and Dr. Britt Bousman, focuses on the alluvial terraces at the site of Erfkroon and spring mound deposits at Baden-Baden. Seven field seasons uncovered a wealth of information on the Pleistocene occupants, and produced 2 MA theses and another in progress.
The Culture and History of Cemeteries in Central Texas
The Cemeteries Project is a long-term, ongoing research venture designed to document, preserve, and analyze Mexican American cemeteries and funerary practices in central and south Texas. This interdisciplinary and ethnohistorical project depends on many collaborators, especially the long-term residents and elders of the local Mexican American community. Other collaborators include students, faculty, local and state-level agencies and cultural centers, and the Hispanic History of Texas Project. Portions of this research will be on display at Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos through September 30, 2014.
Identifying Migrant Deaths in South Texas
In May of 2013, with help from their students, Dr. Lori Baker from Baylor University and Dr. Krista Latham from University of Indianapolis exhumed 60 unidentified border crossers buried in Brooks County, Texas. Texas State undergraduate and graduate students help process and analyze these remains in hopes of facilitating a positive identification. Our goal is to identify all of these individuals and return them to their families.
|Bruker handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer||Two Next Engine Surface Laser Scanners|
|Northstar Image X5000 Micro-CT system||Microscribe 3D digitizer|
|Leica DM LA light microscope with polarizing filter and analyzer, Image-Pro Plus software||MinXray portable digital x-ray system|
|Geoarchaeology lab-hydrometer and sieve screens for texture analysis||Nomad Pro hand-held digital x-ray system|
|Bartington magnetic susceptibility meter||Histological equipment including an Olympus microscope, saws, and grinders|
|Bruckmann White light surface 3D scanner||Standard osteometric equipment (calipers, osteometric boards, etc.)|
|Polhemus fast scan portable 3D scanner|| |
SOKKIA SET 530R Total Station
Trimble GeoXT GP
Project 660 Pro 3-D printer