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World Archaeology 2.2: The Classical World


Admission requirements



The lecture series World Archaeology gives an outline of the deep history of human society, from our early ancestors to what we call the (pre) modern world.

People used material culture to shape their world. At the same time humans were shaped by the material culture they created.
This course offers an essential introduction to several main regions from world history, with focus on the archaeological record of prominent sites.

World Archaeology 2.2 focuses on ancient Egypt, the Hellenistic world, and the Roman world.
The main lectures offer knowledge about the developments and impacts of these cultural contexts.
The afternoon practicum workshops offer hands-on experience with Roman ceramics, and an interactive introduction to the ancient Egyptian archaeology from the Leiden Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden).

Course set-up

Lectures on the subject of that particular week will be followed by a tutorial that addresses a particular aspect in depth, and on the basis of additional literature. These tutorials will take place in smaller groups and are guided by a teaching assistant.

In addition, the student cohort will be split to participate in (a) a Roman ceramics practical and (b) an interactive assignment at the Egypt department of the Museum of Antiquities.

Course objectives

  • Basic knowledge of the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt, the Hellenistic world, and the Roman world;

  • Basic understanding of different perspectives on World Archaeology themes (from the perspective of Egyptian & Mediterranean archaeology);

  • Practical experience with archaeological materials related to the main topics of the course;

  • Basic academic skills, including class discussion, workshop participation, and group assignments.


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;

  • Tutorials, in which students work under supervision on assignments on the literature and practise their knowledge;

  • Ceramics practical;

  • Interactive museum excursion.

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.

Assessment method

  • Multiple choice exam (100%).

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 2.1 and World Archaeology 2.2 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

  • C. Scarre (ed.), 2018, The Human Past. World Prehistory & the Development of Human Societies (Fourth edition), Thames & Hudson;

  • Various additional articles.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

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

BA1 (first-year) Archaeology students will be enrolled by the Administration Office. If you are not a BA1 student, but want to take this course, please contact the Administration Office.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. M.E.J.J. (Marike) van Aerde or dr. A.T. (Letty) ten Harkel.


Compulsory attendance during tutorials, practical and museum visit. Upon missing more than one lecture or tutorial you will be excluded from the exam.