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Innovative Approaches to Materials Analysis


Admission requirements

Admission to the MSc Archaeology programme.


The focus of this course lies on advanced methods and techniques from the exact sciences used to study the life cycle of inorganic artefacts (e.g. metals, vitreous materials), providing the necessary analytical tools and framework to characterise and provenance these archaeological materials, and to determine their past function and use.

You will be familiarised with the advantages, pitfalls and practical implementation of microstructural and chemical techniques (e.g. synchrotron, mass spectrometry, imaging) in archaeological research.

Course set-up

The lectures address the relation between the material properties of ancient artefacts and the analytical techniques used to study them. Preparatory papers are assigned, and will be discussed in the lectures. Post lecture, extra reading is provided.

Course objectives

To obtain knowledge of and insight in the analytical study of various categories of artefacts, focusing on various advanced techniques, processes and methodologies from the exact sciences, but relevant to the study of objects of art and archaeological materials.


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;

  • Discussion sessions;

  • Assignments.

Course load

  • 7 x 2 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • ~280 pages of literature pre and post lectures (2 ec);

  • 2 assignments, 1,000 words each (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • Paper of 1,500 words (100%).

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.

Reading list

Topical, and provided through Brightspace per lecture.


Registration in uSis is mandatory. You can register for this course until 5 days before the first class.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace, but make sure to register for this course in uSis.

You are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time. 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 dr. D.J.G. (Dennis) Braekmans.


Compulsory attendance.