Students working in Anthropology lab examining artifacts.

Programs of study

Archaeological field schools

Some summers, the Department of Anthropology offers ANTH 3910: Archaeological Field School, giving students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience excavating and analyzing artifacts at a local site.

In the past, our students have uncovered artifacts at significant archaeological sites around Winnipeg, including the Seven Oaks House Museum, Lockport and Upper Fort Garry.

Check back here to see if the course will be offered for the coming year.

Student resources and opportunities

Anthropology Students' Association (UMASA)

UMASA presents talks to explore research, graduate studies and careers. Membership is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. They also offer fun events to help students connect. 

Follow UMASA on Instagram

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Explore your career options in Anthropology

Employers are interested in the skills that anthropology majors tend to possess. These may include:

  • knowledge about biological, ecological, and cultural factors that influence human behavior
  • theoretical approaches and practical methods for enhancing cross-cultural understanding
  • knowledge of a variety of ethnic groups and cultures
  • skills in social research, qualitative interviewing and fieldwork, as well as quantitative methods
  • a basic understanding of human evolution and genetics
  • experience in writing both descriptive reports and analytical papers
  • the ability to analyze the root causes of social problems, and to work towards solutions with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds

Plan your university journey. Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking. 

View the Anthropology Career Compass

Undergraduate research awards (URA)

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with our leading faculty researchers and gain valuable experience.

Learn more and apply for a UM URA

Research

Our department makes use of diverse resources across the university to address a range of research questions and stimulate disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that provides unique opportunities for our students.

  • Headshot of Chenée Merchant standing in front of a white wall.

Telling the stories in our bones

When a loved one goes missing, the search for closure can last a lifetime. Currently the RCMP have more than 700 unidentified human remains in their national database with no way to link these victims with their grieving families. Forensic researchers like UM master’s student Chenée Merchant, seek to find new answers hidden in our bones. Her research explores new methods for identifying key features of the skull which could hold important clues to our ancestry.

In 2022, Merchant's research was recognized as a Top 25 national finalist in the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Storytellers Challenge.

Watch Chenée Merchant's video entry

  • PhD alumni Jose Sanchez standing in front of a wall of green shrubs.

When old bones are young

Jose Sanchez's PhD dissertation makes a novel and innovative contribution to anthropology and the forensic sciences. Jose wanted to explore how to determine gender from a detailed examination of child and adolescent skeletal remains by finding a reliable method of determining at what age visible and measurable sex differences in the pelvis begin to appear and stabilize throughout childhood and adolescence.

His research resulted in a University of Manitoba Distinguished Dissertation Award. The awards are given to graduating doctoral students who have been nominated by their faculty/college/school for a dissertation that represents a ground-breaking piece of original work. Awardees receive a $3,000 prize.

Read more on Jose Sanchez's 2022 award winning dissertation 

Our facilities

Archaeological

The archaeological collections housed in Anthropology include sites that represent the cultural and technological diversity of people who’ve lived in Manitoba over the past 10,000 years. Our department houses significant archaeological collections from southwestern Manitoba, the Winnipeg Region, Manitoba’s Boreal Forest and the coast of Hudson Bay.

Bioanthropological

State of the art image technology brings great potential to the study of physical anthropology and archaeology. The Bioanthropology Digital Image Analysis Laboratory (BDIAL) was established to integrate 2D and 3D digital imaging techniques for advanced visualization, modeling and interpretation of anthropological data. BDIAL combines bioarchaeological analysis with thin sectioning, digital microscopy and radiology, 3D scanning and rapid prototyping.

Paleobotanical

Our paleobotanical research facilities consist of a laboratory for extraction of pollen and phytoliths and a comparative collection of pollen, seeds, wood and charcoal which comprise the The C.T. Shay Archaeobotanical Collection. The extensive comparative collection focuses on plant species from the northeastern Great Plains, the Aspen Parkland and the southern Boreal Forest. The Shay Collection also houses microscopes for examination of botanical remains.

Zooarchaeological

Our zooarchaeological facilities include an extensive comparative collection of land and sea mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates and two fume hoods for preparing comparative specimens. The comparative collection houses species local to Manitoba, as well as the Pacific Northwest, Europe and West Asia.

Thin-Section

Our thin-section facility contains equipment for thin-sectioning shells, teeth, bones and ceramics. The equipment enables researchers to embed samples in resin (with or without vacuum impregnation), cut and polish sections, mount sections for thin-sectioning, cut thin-sections and polish thin-sections. Equipment for advanced microscopic analysis of thin sections is available in an adjoining dry lab.

Research highlights

News and events

Each year the Department of Anthropology hosts a variety of public lectures and other events.

Check back here for updates. 

 

New publication

  • Evolution of immune genes is associated with the Black Death

    Nature
    October 2022

    Dr. Julia Gamble, along with a number of international collaborators, has recently published an article in "Nature".

    Infectious diseases are among the strongest selective pressures driving human evolution. This includes the single greatest mortality event in recorded history, the first outbreak of the second pandemic of plague, commonly called the Black Death. To identify loci that may have been under selection during the Black Death, we characterized genetic variation around immune-related genes from 206 ancient DNA extracts, stemming from two different European populations before, during and after the Black Death. The research provides empirical evidence for the role played by past pandemics in shaping present-day susceptibility to disease.

    Read the full article

  • A collage of four images including an ancient gravesite, a map and two graphs.

Contact us

Department of Anthropology
432 Fletcher Argue Building
15 Chancellor Circle
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

204-474-9361
204-474-7600