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Area Specialisation Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master Archaeology programme.


Organised around ongoing research by Leiden University's Faculty of Archaeology, this course will delve into recent excavation programmes in the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia, and their historical and methodological roots.

The course will provide an introduction to the aims and results of a series of modern field projects and will discuss the practicalities of their field research, such as data collection, selection of methodology, interpretation of the available archaeological record, and the preparation of publications.
Attention will also be given to current debates around colonialism, identity and heritage threats in the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia.

Course set-up

Block 1: weekly lectures, class discussions, weekly assignments, reading and discussion of relevant literature.
Block 2: weekly meetings and class discussions, individual and group research, preparation of research report.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia and its historical roots, on the basis of the lectures, literature, assignments and discussions;

  • Detailed insight into the aims and methodologies of a series of modern excavation projects in the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia;

  • Ability to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the field methodologies of these field projects, and to voice one’s well-argumented opinion;

  • Ability to critically engage in discussions concerning research aims, methodologies and problems, and to participate in current debates and approaches concerning the themes of the course;

  • Ability to process archaeological data and to apply relevant theoretical models;

  • Ability to present original research in an academic manner.


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;

  • Critical reading of relevant books and articles prior to class meetings;

  • Weekly assignments;

  • Class discussion on the basis of these assignments;

  • Individual and joint research;

  • Preparation of individual and joint report(s).

Assessment method

  • Active participation in the course and class discussions (20%);

  • Critical, substantiated reading of assigned literature (20%);

  • Individual and joint research (30%);

  • Quality of written assignments and final report on the basis of research (30%).

All written documents must be submitted through Turnitin in Brightspace.

A retake is only possible for the final report, only in case of a fail, and only when all other requirements, including attendance, have been met.

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.

The deadlines for the weekly assignments will be announced on Brightspace.

Reading list

The reading list will be given to participating students prior to the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


For more information about this course, please contact prof. dr. P.M.M.G. (Peter) Akkermans or dr. A.T. (Letty) ten Harkel.


Compulsory attendance.