Facilities

The Department of Anthropology maintains a variety of teaching and research laboratories, and has access to field research opportunities.

  1. Teaching and Research Laboratories

    Teaching facilities include laboratories that are used in classes in Archaeology, Zooarchaeology, Archaeobotany, geographic information systems (GIS), Physical Anthropology, Human Evolution, and Human Anatomy.

    The teaching laboratory collections contain artifactual and zooarchaeological collections that include Near Eastern ceramics, as well as lithics (stone tools) from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and faunal assemblages from North America and the Middle East. In addition, the Institute for Long Island Archaeology (ILIA) maintains a large collection of library and archival materials relating to the history and archaeology of coastal New York. This collection, comprising over 500 bound volumes and tens of thousands of pages of research records, articles, and other documents was donated to the Institute in 1989 by the family of the late Dr. Lynn Ceci.

    The physical anthropology laboratories house extensive primate and hominin fossil cast collections, as well as a number of modern human skeletons. The human anatomy teaching laboratory contains a large number of anatomical models, computers and videos.

    Research facilities are maintained for the study of lithic technology, zooarchaeology, archaeobotany, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), dental structure and microwear. The archaeology and physical anthropology laboratories contain state-of-the-art scanning and digitizing equipment and numerous binocular microscopes, a reflected light microscope and a scanning electron microscope. Computers are equipped with customized software for analysis of zooarchaeological data, and computed axial tomograms (CAT Scans) of long bones. The GIS Laboratory contains 8 networked Pentium computers configured to run ArcGIS 9 software.

  2. Field Research

    Anthropology faculty conduct field research throughout the world in the areas of Archaeology, Ethnography, Human and Primate Evolution, and Primate Behavior, Ecology and Conservation.

    David Bernstein conducts research and contract excavations on Long Island. Elisabeth Hildebrand’s research in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya concerns the beginnings of food production in Africa. John Shea and Elisabeth Hildebrand are collaborating on the Early Holocene archaeology of West Turkana, Kenya. Elizabeth Stone is conducting excavations in Turkey at the site of Ayanis, a major city of the Uratian Empire. Katheryn Twiss is investigating faunal remains at the early agricultural site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey.

    Ethnographic research is ongoing in China (Greg Ruf), East Timor (David Hicks) and Spain (David Gilmore).

    Primate and human paleontology research is being conducted in Kenya (Rossie) and South Africa (Frederick Grine).

    One primatological research stations is maintained by Stony Brook faculty. The International Research Station at Ranomafana National Park called Centre ValBio located in the southeastern part of Madagascar was established by Patricia Wright. The 43,500 hectare National Park contains lowland rain forests, cloud forests, and high plateau forests. The research station consists of a modern campus with laboratories, classrooms, research libraries and a dining hall. Dormitories and computer laboratories should be completed in 2008. The satellite camps in Mangevo, Vohiparara Vatoharanana, and Valohoaka are in pristine forests and several hours walk from the main field station and have no permanent structures. Five genera and 13 species of lemurs occur in this rainforest. PhD Dissertations have been completed on 10 of the 13 species. Systematic and ecological studies of the rich biodiversity are a focus here, as well as studies of the humans in Tanala and Betsileo villages surrounding the park. A Study Abroad Program of 20-35 students organized by Stony Brook University is based here.

    Research on primate behavioral ecology is also being conducted in Africa (Diane Doran-Sheehy) and in Southeast Asia (Andreas Koenig and Carola Borries).