The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA is a premier research organization dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and conservation of archaeological knowledge and heritage.

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Archaeologists at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology are available to speak to K-12 students about their work in the field and answer questions about their areas of expertise.

Mental Health Resources



An important lesson from the past two years: flexibility is key. A recent example is that the country-wide supply-chain issues have delayed the printed version of Backdirt, our annual report. Nevertheless, a digital version of the 2021 issue of Backdirt is out and you can read and download the many thoughtful articles right here! This overview of 2021 is rather optimistically called “Homecoming” and shows on its cover our first in-person meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when, in September 2021, we opened the academic year. Masked and a bit uncomfortable we enjoyed personalized snacks and drinks. A printed version of Backdirt will hopefully be available soon.

Both the 2020 and the 2021 editions of Backdirt provide a unique time document. The impact of the pandemic has been highlighted on many different levels. In many cases our students had to cancel their field research, resulting in at least a set-back and at times a complete change in plans of their PhD research. Also on a personal level the isolation, tensions and uncertainties have taken their toll. Our faculty and students had to switch back and forth from in-person, to remote, to hybrid teaching, often on short notice.

New Books from the CIOA Press

Online Access to CIOA Press Books

Greetings and best wishes from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press! We hope you are all well, and adjusting to the very challenging new ways we are all living and working. The nature of research and obtaining information has shifted rapidly to online resources, and to make our publications more accessible, we are in the process of uploading pdfs of nearly 100 CIoA Press books that can be read online through eScholarship.

Early Athens, Unmasking Ideology in Imperial and Colonial Archaeology, The Construction of Value in the Ancient World and Maya Zooarchaeology are just a few of our titles either available now or soon to be added. Check back regularly to find the latest additions.

Some of the older titles are downloadable in pdf from the same site.