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World Archaeology 1.2: Prehistory of the Near East


Admission requirements



The lecture series World Archaeology gives an outline of the deep history of humans and society from our early ancestors to the more complex societies in the world. The role of material culture in society is discussed and shown in many regions and periods. Comparisons between different regions and scales allow us to understand connections between the unique and the global.

People used material culture to shape their world. This type of data can be used to understand past societies, but needs to be treated with care.

This course focuses on current research themes in our faculty: Early farmers and complex societies in the Near East.
Lectures may incidentally be replaced by excursions.

The book The Human Past is used throughout the course, supplemented by additional literature.

Course set-up

  • Lectures and tutorials;

  • Weekly assignments.

Course objectives

  • Basic knowledge of the deep history of the Near East;

  • Basic understanding of contrasts and different perspectives on World Archaeology themes;

  • Basic understanding of the current debates and challenges in archaeology;

  • How people used material culture to shape their world;

  • Understanding the nature and variety of archaeological evidence, such as tools, household items, pictures, structures of houses, burials, ecological changes and genetic variations;

  • Knowledge of the nature of archaeological data and the regional and temporal variations in settlements, economies, and cultural organisation;

  • General knowledge of and insight into technological, social and cultural developments in time per region (in burial rituals, settlements, economic developments, social organisation).


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and tutorials;

  • Excursions (museum visits).

You will take part in three 1-hour tutorial sessions, coordinated by Teaching Assistants (TAs). During these tutorials, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversations about various research topics. Alongside the TAs, the lecturers will also occasionally participate in the tutorials.

Course load

  • 12 hours of lectures (0.5 ec);

  • Ca. 56 hours of course preparation, weekly assignments, tutorials, literature reading (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • Multiple choice exam (100%).

During the course there will be 3 assignments all students have to submit through Brightspace. Each assignment can earn you a bonus of 0.2 for your final grade.

A retake of the exam is only possible in case of a fail (in compliance with our teaching rules and regulations), and only when the requirements of attendance and assignments have been met.

Compensation between the grades of World Archaeology 1.1 and World Archaeology 1.2 is only possible if the individual grades are a 5.0 or higher.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Reading list

  • Scarre, C. (ed.) 2018. The Human Past. World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies (Fourth Edition) Thames and Hudson) ISBN 9780500294208;

  • Various additional articles.


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 prof. dr. P.M.M.G. (Peter) Akkermans.


Compulsory attendance during tutorials. Upon missing more than one tutorial, you will be excluded from the exam.