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


UCLA is a public university and that brings a responsibility for us who work here to be part of the public debate. Archaeology is a discipline that allows us to see both the longue durée and short-term events. Our work has the power to show the particularities of day-to-day experiences in the past. It also enables us to analyze what happens in the present within a deep historical perspective. Studying the materiality of everyday life urges us to ask ourselves how our time will be perceived in the future: what will the material reflection be of the America that we live in today? Will future archaeologists see a dramatic widening of the wealth gap and increase in social stratification, characterized by palaces surrounded by green grassy parks with small holes in them? Will future bioarchaeologists conclude that a decline in age-at-death can be linked to a sharp deterioration of the health of large groups of the population? How will future anthropologists characterize the 21st century nation state?

New Books from the CIOA Press