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Field School 1


Admission requirements

Field techniques and Landscape Dynamics 1 obtained.


During Field School 1, the main practical skills of archaeological fieldwork are practised in a real archaeological excavation or survey.
The course consists of a field practical of 2 weeks and the writing of a field portfolio with daily reports (with an emphasis on strategy, analysis and interpretation).

During the field practical you will acquire the first basic field skills and focus on how to interpret, document and report archaeological field data. This will be reported in your personal daily reports, that focus on analytic and reporting skills relating to observations made in the field.

The field school is preceded by the course Field techniques, in which all methodologies have been explained and a selection of methods have been practised already.

In the following years, the training of practical skills remains an important part of the archaeology curriculum, to assure that all students will obtain sufficient field skills and experience.
During Field School 1, Field School 2, Internship BA3, and even throughout the Master programme Applied Archaeology, all necessary field skills will be registered in a portfolio which shows your personal acquired skill set and experience.

Course set-up

Field School 1 involves highly intensive training in the field, focused on instruction and practice relating to basic professional field techniques.

Acquired skills and experiences will be registered in a personal portfolio. These will be signed off in the field by the teaching staff present.

Course objectives

The main objective of the course is to acquire skills in archaeological fieldwork and the interpretation and registration of archaeological field data. This can be subdivided into:

  • Basic knowledge of specific archaeological excavation methods and techniques, and which method is used in which conditions;

  • Basic knowledge of a set of practical archaeological field skills and sampling techniques;

  • Ability to distinguish features created by human activity from natural formation processes;

  • Ability to describe archaeological data according to the applicable guidelines;

  • Ability to write clear and relevant daily field notes/reports (in which the Faculty guidelines are applied), supported by visual material (e.g. drawings; photographs) in such a manner that it strengthens or clarifies the description and interpretation of archaeological field data.


See Brightspace.

Mode of instruction


Course load

  • 80 hours of practical fieldwork (4 ec);

  • Fieldwork portfolio with daily reports (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • Compulsory attendance;

  • Fieldwork portfolio with daily reports (100%).

The portfolio guidelines, the Faculty guidelines and evaluation rubric can be found in the Brightspace module.
Evaluation of the daily reports will focus on how observations made in the field have been translated into a sound and comprehensive archaeological analysis.
A retake is only possible for the final fieldwork portfolio, and only in case of a grade of 5.0 or lower.

The (signed off) fieldwork portfolio must be submitted digitally within 2 weeks after the last field day.

Reading list

  • C. Renfrew & P. Bahn 2018, Archaeology: Methods, Theories and Practice. 7th edition (2018), pag. 73-130;

  • Relevant papers to be announced.


The Administration Office will register all Archaeology BA1 students in uSis for their lectures and tutorials.
If you are not in Archaeology BA1, you can register for this course by e-mailing the Administration Office. Use your uMail, messages sent from private mail accounts cannot be verified and will not be processed.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace.

The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, you are not required to do this in uSis.


For more information about this course, please contact A.J. (Arjan) Louwen MA or dr. M.S. (Maaike) de Waal.


  • Compulsory attendance;

  • Some personal expenses are involved (a.o. safety shoes, transport).