Welcome to CIAMS

The Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) coordinates archaeological activities at Cornell through a consortium of graduate students and faculty affiliated with departments of Anthropology, Classics, History of Art, Landscape Architecture and Near Eastern Studies. CIAMS encourages research, interaction, and innovation in all areas of archaeology and material studies, and provides undergraduate and graduate instruction through its affiliated departments. CIAMS promotes diverse theoretical, methodological, and historical approaches to archaeology that inform the fundamental materiality of the human condition across time and space. More about CIAMS …

What’s happening at CIAMS?

UntitledRadioCIAMS: Sonya Atalay – On November 5, 2015, Dr. Sonya Atalay (UMass Amherst) met a panel of CIAMS faculty (Kurt Jordan, Ben Anderson) and students (Taylor Hummel, Jessica Plant, Perri Gerard-Little, Jess Pfundstein) to discuss activist research – scholarship that matters in the face of university corporatization.


The CIAMS Workshop series resumes on November 13, 2015, where Uthara Suvrathan (Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate) will be discussing a chapter of her monograph in progress, Persistent Peripheries: Archaeological and historical landscapes of an ancient city in South India, 3rd c. BCE – 18th c. CE.

Zapotec Funerary Urn, Mexico, 750-1200 CE.

CIAMS student Fredrika Loew has curated an exhibit entitled “Gods and Scholars: Studying Religion at a Secular University.” On November 17, 2015, Fredrika will give an introductory lecture (4:30 p.m., Olin library 106), followed by an exhibition visit and reception (Hirshland Exhibition Gallery, Kroch Library).

phaistos disk

RadioCIAMS: John Cherry - On October 16, 2015, Dr. John Cherry (Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University) met a panel of CIAMS faculty and students to discuss early state formation in the Aegean.


Khaled al-As'ad

In the news: CIAMS professor Sturt Manning on why ISIS wants to erase Palmyra’s History. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has recently released a statement on the murder of Khaled al-As’ad, the retired chief of antiquities for Palmyra. ISIS increases the destruction of Syrian archaeological sites.

Etter teaching

Outreach: Kudos to CIAMS students Bonnie Etter and Jennifer Carrington for their volunteer work at local middle schools. Both have been working through the organization GRASSHOPR to teach archaeology, and school teachers have responded by asking for more courses.


RadioCIAMS: Our podcast series, wherein we probe critical debates in archaeology in conversation between leading practitioners and the next generation of researchers. Latest podcasts here…


CIAMS Lectures: We bring archaeological practitioners from around the country and the world to share current approaches with our students. Latest lectures here…



Workshop-leaderCIAMS WorkshopsCornell graduate students and faculty discuss their works-in-progress with colleagues and students, lending insights into how archaeological research is conceived and disseminated. Latest workshops here…