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Founded in 1939, the Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA) was the first center for the study of North Carolina archaeology. It is currently one of the leading institutes for archaeological teaching and research in the American South. Over the past 75 years, most of the major discoveries in the understanding of North Carolina’s ancient past can be attributed to the RLA or to students who were trained here.

By nature an interdisciplinary unit, the RLA has faculty research associates in anthropology, art, classics, computer science, geology, history, linguistics, religious studies, women’s and gender studies, and American studies. On campus it provides support for faculty and students working not only in North Carolina, but also throughout the Americas and overseas.

Since 2008, the RLA also has been the administrative home for the Curriculum in Archaeology, which brings together nearly 20 faculty from across the College of Arts and Sciences. Undergraduate students may also choose to major or minor in archaeology. Our lab and field courses provide experiential learning opportunities for more than 100 students each year. The RLA also maintains the North Carolina Archaeological Collection, one of the finest collections of archaeological materials from the South, mostly pertaining to the ancient Indian cultures of this area. The collection contains more than 8 million artifacts along with thousands of photographs, slides, and other pertinent documents. It is an invaluable resource for education and research, and is central to the RLA’s programs.

Private support is critical to the success of the RLA. Your tax-deductible donation through the Arts and Sciences Foundation at UNC-Chapel Hill will allow us to transform the learning opportunities for our students inside and outside of the classroom. The RLA has several funds that support faculty and student research, travel, and field work along with public outreach programs. To make a secure gift online, please choose one of the funds below and follow the link.

General Program Support

Donations can be used immediately by the RLA.

Director’s Fund for Excellence in the Research Laboratories of Archaeology • supports archaeology of the American South
Research Laboratories of Archaeology • general support for the RLA
Archaeological Research Fund • supports archaeological research
Maya Studies Research Fund • supports Maya studies and heritage conservation


Gifts are invested in the fund and generate income for use.

Coe Memorial Fund • supports North Carolina archaeology in memory of Sally Denton Coe
Mooney Memorial Fund • supports graduate student research in archaeology in memory of Tim Mooney
Peebles Endowment • supports RLA programs in memory of Margaret Peebles
R.P. Stephen Davis Jr. Fund • supports RLA programs in celebration of Steve Davis’ nearly 40 years of service to the RLA
Ward Memorial Fund • supports RLA programs in memory of H. Trawick Ward
Weihrer Fund for Archaeology • supports public outreach and education programs
Yarnell Memorial Fund • supports RLA programs in memory of Richard A. Yarnell

Donations by Mail

If you would prefer to mail in a check, please note in the “memo” section of your check that your gift is intended for the RLA. Donations should be sent to the following address:

UNC Arts and Sciences Foundation
Attention: Meghan Hunt

Buchan House
523 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

For more information and questions about giving to the RLA, please contact Meghan Hunt, Associate Director of Development at The Arts and Sciences Foundation, at or 919.962.7401.

Thank you for your support!