UNC-Chapel Hill Research Laboratories of Archaeology Online Resources

The following resources are provided by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA) and American Indian Center.

Ancient North Carolinians

This massive website is a virtual museum of North Carolina archaeology. Viewers can discover archaeology in the county in which they live, view ancient and recent archaeological artifacts from across the state (including many 3D models), and learn how archaeologists reconstruct the past. They can learn about North Carolina’s 15,000 year Native American heritage and 400+ years of colonial heritage. There are digital exhibits, driving trails of archaeological and historical sites, and resources for teachers too.

Exploring Indigenous Cultures — Teacher Lesson Plans

These lessons were developed as part of the 2021–2022 UNC World View Fellows Program, Exploring Indigenous Cultures: Ancient North Carolinians, Past and Present. North Carolina educators selected as Program Fellows created lessons for a variety of disciplines in K-12 schools and community colleges so students can learn about the ancient peoples that lived here and those who represent today’s vibrant American Indian populations. Lessons also make connections from the past to the present day by exploring multiple resources within the Ancient North Carolinians: A Virtual Museum of North Carolina Archaeology website to examine how communities changed over time and what influenced these changes. Understanding past Indigenous lifeways—their complexity, resiliency, and vitality—allows for a greater appreciation of the contributions American Indians made to the past and continue to make to the present and future of North Carolina. The program was a partnership with the Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA) and the American Indian Center.

Research Laboratories of Archaeology Sketchfab — 3D Models of Artifacts

All 3D models created by the Research Laboratories of Archaeology are housed on the RLA’s Sketchfab site. There are nearly 1,300 models as of 2023. Many models can also be viewed through the Ancient North Carolinians website in the 3D Gallery section.

North Carolina Projectile Point Types

This page contains high-resolution color images of North Carolina projectile point types illustrated in the book Time, Typology, and Point Traditions in North Carolina Archaeology by I. Randolph Daniel Jr.

Research Laboratories of Archaeology Image Archive

This searchable online archive contains over 37,000 digital images, nearly 19,000 color slides, and 16,000 black-and-white photographs. Viewers can search on an artifact category (pipes, for example), site name, site number, and other information.

Research Laboratories of Archaeology Collections

This page contains descriptions and links to information about the collections curated by the RLA. In addition, it contains a link the RLA’s NAGPRA Inventory.