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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 20, 2014
Canadian Excellence


Archaeology at Laurier 

Archaeology is the study of human culture and history through the excavation of sites and analyses of physical remains left by earlier peoples. 

Laurier has two of the most extensive interdisciplinary archaeology programs in Canada. Students can focus on one of two areas: Near Eastern and Classical, or North American

  • Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology is the study of cities and monuments of the ancient Near East and Classical worlds, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Greece and Rome. 
  • North American Archaeology provides students with a background in cultural history, technology and human adaptation from the earliest occupation at the end of the last ice age to the historic period when Europeans arrived in the New World. 

Program highlights  

  • All archaeology majors must complete a field school and have the option of excavating on site in either the Mediterranean or Ontario with one of our experienced professors. 
  • Laurier has three archaeology laboratories on campus to house artifact collections. Lab work focuses on drawing and analysis, lab procedures and museum techniques. 
  • Laurier’s partnership with the University of Waterloo allows archaeology students to take courses in ancient languages. These include Greek, Ancient Hebrew and Latin

Courses offered 

First year 

  • Archaeology - An Introduction
  • Archaeology - Methods, Theory and Practice

Popular courses

  • Egyptian Art & Architecture
  • Greek Art & Archaeology
  • Burial Customs in the Ancient Levant
  • Sports in Greece and Rome
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World

Admission Requirements

4U Requirements IB Requirements  Admission Range
English at 60%  HL or SL English at 4 

Mid 70s

IB Minimum score: 28  


A degree in the arts teaches you to think critically and communicate effectively while being able to analyze a wealth of material and extract what you need from it. These skills are valued by employers. Our archeology graduates have gone on to careers in many fields, including teaching, forensics and heritage planning

Student experience 

0000Hicks.jpgVanessa Hicks knew she had chosen the best university for archaeology when she investigated the school’s campus and program. “I heard Laurier had the best program for archaeology and offered different specializations for me to choose from such as Near Eastern or Pre-Contact,” says Hicks. “I also really liked the atmosphere and smaller campus size.” 

Hicks has always had in interest in archaeology, but it wasn’t until her family moved into a renovated one-room schoolhouse that she became passionate about it. She recalls finding artifacts in her backyard and visiting the local archives to search for historical information about her house. “I felt I had found my calling. Archaeology is a wonderful combination of academia and adventure. I love that archaeology challenges me both mentally and physically every day.” 

After graduating, Hicks hopes to become a historic planner. 

Faculty experience 

000Glencross.jpgSpecializing in bioarcheology and human biology, Dr. Bonnie Glencross has worked as a professor, researcher and field archeologist conducting research related to archeological skeletal remains.

Teaching at Laurier allows Glencross to do what she loves while passing along her knowledge to others. “I get to meet and work with the most interesting people!” Glencross says. “I learn new things everyday and get to share what I learn with others, all this while pursuing an area of study that I am really passionate about.”

Alumni experience 

0000Gruspier.jpgKathy Gruspier fell in love with bones as a Laurier archaeology student on a dig in Jordan. A tomb had just been opened. Inside were terra cotta figurines and bowls. “I didn’t even see them,” she recalls. “All I saw was the skeleton. It got me really fired up; these (remains) were the people who made the artifacts. I was absolutely hooked.” 

After graduating from Laurier, Gruspier went on to earn a master’s degree in palaeopathology and funerary archaeology, a PhD in physical anthropology, and a law degree. As a recognized expert on bones, she works with the Ontario Coroner’s Office to examine bones found at construction sites or by mushroom hunters. Sometimes they are animal bones; sometimes they are the remains of native people. Sometimes they are the remains of murdered people.

Gruspier has also become an expert on genocide. She has worked in Kosovo, where she helped dig up human remains and undertook anthropological examinations for identification purposes. She has exhumed and analyzed bodies in East Timor for the United Nations. And she has been to Cambodia, surveying possible sites of mass graves for potential exhumation and even interviewing the people who did the killing. 

She has been awarded the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal and the NATO Medal for her work in Kosovo.