The Archaeological Research Institute (ARI), located in Tempe Center, curates more than 70,000 archaeological specimens from central Arizona, houses the school's ceramic sherd type and whole pot collections and maintains a computer lab for staff and visiting researchers equipped with multimedia, GIS, statistical and data collection capabilities.
Housed at the heart of ASU's School of Human Evolution and Social Change, the Museum of Anthropology expands our innovative programs of research to the communities we serve and beyond. It is a place in which we explain and explore the importance and impact of anthropological insights to understand the challenges of living in our increasingly global and complex world. The museum aims to share with audiences the many ways in which cultural expression finds form, as well as to highlight creative and adaptive strategies pursued by human communities in different places and in different times as they experience and respond to change.
Under the direction of National Academy of Sciences member professor Jane Buikstra, the Center for Bioarchaeological Research seeks to discover and communicate new knowledge about past peoples' experiences with health and disease along with their cultural and environmental contexts. The first of its kind in Arizona, the center conducts research not typically covered by traditional researchers in the biomedical, environmental and conservation fields. Our research and teaching emphasize contextualization and problem orientation along with the latest methodological training. Students learn not only human osteology and various analytical and laboratory procedures, but also how to interpret the data resulting from these methods within a broad, comparative anthropological framework for bioarchaeological problem-solving and engagement with contemporary issues.
The challenges of creating global health are some of the most complex and difficult we face. The Center for Global Health advances innovative approaches to understand and address health as a critical and complex part of the broader human condition. To do this, we integrate cutting-edge methods and theories from the social and life sciences, including such fields as medical anthropology, mathematical epidemiology, genetics, history, human biology, sociology and geography. We use these tools to question our most basic assumptions about why people get sick and what we should do about it, and to imagine and test better models for how science can work with communities across the globe to develop and sustain projects and partnerships that result in meaningful and sustainable health improvements that can transcend political, social and geographic boundaries.
The Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity (CSID) is a multidisciplinary endeavor to improve our understanding of how different types of institutions – defined as the norms and rules people use to govern common resources and provide public goods – perform within different social-ecological systems.
As an incubator of novel research on collective action and the commons, CSID provides a place for students, visitors and faculty to discuss their research in a stimulating, interdisciplinary atmosphere and to forge and inspire new collaborations. Our research is clustered into four themes: Robustness of Social-Ecological Systems, Origins of Institutions, Sanitation and Collective Action and Catalyzing Collective Action.
The Deer Valley Rock Art Center, located in northwest Phoenix, is a unique and multifaceted part of ASU. As the point of public access to the Hedgpeth Hills petroglyph site, the center interprets the cultural expressions found there and acts as a research laboratory for rock art studies worldwide.
The center is a vital part of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, complementing and showcasing the school's teaching, research and service activities. With its 47-acre nature preserve, community museum and research facility, Deer Valley Rock Art Center exemplifies the lasting and profound connections people have had through time with this landscape.
The Center for Digital Antiquity is devoted to enhancing preservation of and access to the archaeological record. DA oversees and maintains the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), a digital archive and repository curating digital data from archaeological investigations and research from around the world. The materials preserved in tDAR document the archaeological record, the efforts of the archaeological and scientific community, and the material and social characteristics of the cultures studied. tDAR serves the needs of a wide range of archaeologists, researchers, organizations and institutions who use or manage archaeological resources. It enables wide-ranging comparative archaeological research capable of advancing our understanding of the past and our present-day management of archaeological resources.
The Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University is one of the leading research organization in the United States devoted to the science of human origins. Embedded within ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, IHO pursues a transdisciplinary strategy for field and analytical paleoanthropological research central to its 30-year-old founding mission—integrating social, earth, and life science approaches to the most important questions concerning the course, timing, and causes of human evolutionary change over deep time. IHO links to its research activities innovative public outreach programs that create timely, accurate information for education and lay communities.
Teotihuacan Research Laboratory
The School of Human Evolution and Social Change, through the research of George Cowgill and Saburo Sugiyama, has become the leading North American institution for Teotihuacan studies. Cowgill, whose archaeological research at Teotihuacan spans nearly five decades, continues to oversee Arizona State University's research center at this UNESCO World Heritage site, located 25 miles northeast of Mexico City.
Cowgill's innovative studies of the spatial organization of Teotihuacan from the map and database created by the Teotihuacan Mapping Project (in which he participated in the 1960s) provided the first knowledge of the city's growth and decline over six centuries. His comparative analyses of ancient states, cities and empires, including trends in demography, population growth and collapse have relevance for studies of the modern world. In recent decades ASU research teams have unearthed evidence of human and animal sacrifice, ancient treasures in great pyramids and the modest dwellings of commoners.
ASU faculty, students and staff collaborate on projects with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History. The center plays host to research teams from universities including Stanford University, Dartmouth College and Penn State to excavate and explore this ancient city, which at its zenith around AD 500 was the sixth largest city in the world.