By digging into the past, students at Mississippi State University are finding new clues about the future. At MSU, archaeological study of early cultures is accomplished both in the field and in the laboratory as a means of resolving modern-day problems and understanding our shared past.
As a discipline within the department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, archaeology allows students to delve into past millennia to unearth and interpret ancient cultures. Their discoveries are not only helping solve the world's oldest mysteries but also providing deeper insights into modern society's most pressing challenges.
By applying learnings gleaned from the past, students are developing improved agricultural techniques, revolutionizing the planning of public spaces and preparing for careers as varied as law, public administration and university teaching and research.
Moreover, they are validating some of Western civilization's most highly regarded beliefs.
Unprecedented findings of MSU student and faculty researchers working in the Middle East helped prove the existence of two cultural icons long thought to be mythical – the Bible’s King Solomon and King David. Through accurate study of artifacts and unique findings, students working in Israel also helped resolve a longstanding debate about whether governments existed in the 10th century.
These recent breakthroughs placed Mississippi State among the most influential academic institutions in the field. Jimmy Hardin is an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures.
MSU provides students a full range of archaeological research, including basic cultural and historical investigations, field excavations, laboratory analysis and report preparation, as well as cultural resource management and public archaeology. Students have the opportunity to apply learnings by helping businesses, municipalities and government agencies understand and comply with cultural and environmental laws and regulations.
Archaeological exploration in the Middle East is part of the Cobb Institute’s mission. It helps expand students’ extensive study of more familiar, local societies in Mississippi and North America where Native American cultures are the primary focus.
Local study and studies abroad help prepare students for careers with museums, government agencies, human services organizations and international research opportunities.