Northern Eurasian Archaeology

Ongoing faculty research projects in China, Mongolia and Siberia are adding an exciting Old World comparative perspective to study of early complex societies at the University of Pittsburgh. Through this project, Pitt students are exploring such issues as the origins of social complexity, long-term societal evolution, craft specialization and political power in nomadic societies, hunter-gatherer landuse, and the transition to farming and herding. Here are examples of current students in the graduate program and their archaeological research.

Core Faculty 

Robert Drennan (PhD, University of Michigan):
Early complex societies, the evolution of social and political complexity, chiefdoms, regional settlement & demography, community structure, households. Current research: China, Colombia.

Loukas Barton (PhD, University of California, Davis):
Hunter-gatherers, low-level farmers, evolutionary ecology, origins of agriculture and domestication, mobility and migration. Current research: Mongolia, China, Alaska.

Bryan K. Hanks (PhD, University of Cambridge):
Russian archaeology, Bronze and Iron Age societies, nomads and pastoralists, zooarchaeology, funerary studies, Eurasian steppe, social organization of early metal production. Current research: Russia, Central Asia, Serbia.

Katheryn Linduff (PhD, University of Pittsburgh): 
Ancient China, pastoral societies, societal evolution, state formation, material culture, nomads, frontiers. Current research: China.
See: (note: Dr. Linduff is no longer accepting students)

Related Faculty

Mark Abbott, Professor, Geology: China 
Tomas Matza, Assistant Professor, Anthropology: Russia 
Ruth Mostern, Associate Professor, History: China
Vijai Singh, Professor, Sociology: India 
Vincent Leung, Assistant Professor, History: China
James Pickett, Assistant Professor, History: Russia, Central Asia

Selected Course Offerings

Origins of Cities
Chinese Archaeology
Cultural Anthropology of Ancient China
Archaeology of Northeast China
Archaeology of Russia and Central Asia
Early Chinese Art and Ritual Practice

Asian Studies Center

Designated a National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education, the Asian Studies Center coordinates the activities of more than 50 Pitt faculty members active in Asian and East Asian area studies. This program offers archaeology students a certificate program in Asian studies, Chinese Presidential Fellowship, fellowships for language training, and small grants for travel. Supporting University-wide programs in studies of East Asia is the University of Pittsburgh's East Asian Library, which is an outstanding source for archaeological and anthropological journals, manuscripts, maps and monographs in a wide range of languages.

Center for Russian & East European Studies

The Center for Russian and East European Studies (REES) is an interdisciplinary center focused on Central and Eastern Europe and the successor states of the Soviet Union. Funded by the US Department of Education, REES plays a critical role in promoting regionally focused scholarship and teaching on Pitt’s campus and raising knowledge and awareness about our part of the world among wider communities in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. REES offers certificate programs, access to language training, opportunities for study-abroad, and funding for research and travel.

Center for Comparative Archaeology

To further our goals, the newly formed Center for Comparative Archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh fosters broad comparative study on the dynamics of long-term human social change through an open access archaeological database and a visiting scholar program.