Central Washington Anthropological Survey

The Central Washington Anthropological Survey (CWAS) conducts archaeological investigations throughout the Northwest and promotes public involvement in the identification and protection of regional archaeological resources. CWAS cooperates with state and federal agencies, Native American Tribes and Nations, professional archaeologists throughout the state, and state and local archaeological societies to study and preserve Central Washington's archeological resources. CWAS outreach is under the supervision of Dr. Steven Hackenberger.


CWU has provided cultural resource services for over 30 years. Through CWAS, CWU faculty members, specialists, and professional staff build successful teams for both small and large-scale projects. These teams have developed holistic models for cultural resource management programs and archaeological projects. We team with private and public CRM groups and have contracted and subcontracted organizations as well as tribal cultural resource programs.


CWAS is dedicated to producing high-quality cultural resource studies meeting the ethical standards of our profession and the educational objectives of our university. CWAS has completed small and large projects through all phases of CRM planning, evaluation, mitigation, curation, and documentation. Programs and projects have included strong Native American consultation and involvement, proactive planning, blanket archaeological permit and curation agreements, data management, advanced geospatial technology (GPS and GIS development), non-destructive remote sensing, and public interpretation.


CWAS has the tools, equipment, and staff to equip and manage large crews of up to 25 people. It has lab space to process artifacts as well as geologic and sediment samples. And it has both temporary and permanent storage facilities for the care of artifacts collected in the field. CWAS is capable of performing and subsequently reporting on systematic pedestrian surveys, test/full-scale excavations, detailed GIS applications including mapping, database management, lithic analysis, lab-processing and curation of artifacts, national register nominations, monitoring, literature reviews, remote sensing, and development of archaeological resource management plans.


CWAS serves federal, state, and local agencies, tribes, and corporations with cultural resource management needs. CWAS builds partnerships with these organizations that meet CWU research and educational goals and also help conserve cultural resources, aid regional economic development, and enhance cultural heritage programs. Faculty and staff from several CWU units collaborate on grants and contracts. Their technical expertise includes international and regional archaeological fieldwork; history and ethnography; geoarchaeology and palynology; lithic, faunal, and skeletal analysis, geophysical survey, and GIS/GPS data collection and analysis.


Not only does CWAS perform a valuable service for Central Washington, but in the process, it provides "real world" archaeological work experiences for CWU students who have demonstrated willingness and ability to perform cultural resource management activities.


CWAS offices are located on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg, Washington. Knowledgeable staff, faculty members, and advanced graduate students are available to share expertise.

For more information, contact Dr. Steven Hackenberger at (509) 963-3201 (message number) or email hackenbe@cwu.edu

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Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies

Department Secretary:
357A Dean Hall
1200 Wildcat Way
(509) 963-3201

Department Chair:
338 Dean Hall
1200 Wildcat Way
(509) 963-3601
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