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About Us

The staff, students and volunteers at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology work together to study, preserve, partner, and present the human story from our origins more than 2.5 million years ago to today.  

We study the human story by conducting new field and collection-based research through the Office of Contract Archaeology, in UNM classrooms, and through innovative research conducted by our curators, research staff, UNM students, and visiting scholars.

We preserve the human story by caring for vast anthropological collections and archives from around the world.  The majority of our 3-million plus objects come from the U.S. Southwest, the result of more than 90 years of UNM archaeological and ethnographic research. We also hold archaeological and ethnographic collections from Latin America, Africa, the Arctic and Asia, and—even—a documented skeletal collection of people who have donated their remains to the Museum for study and teaching!

We partner with Tribes and federal, state, and local agencies to properly care for, learn from, and display the collections entrusted to our care and to repatriate ancestral Native American human remains and sacred objects to descendent communities.

We present the human story through exhibitions, public lectures and workshops, and University and K-12 educational programs that connect UNM to the residents of Albuquerque, celebrate the diversity of New Mexico’s communities, and enhance the curriculum of local schools.