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Ancient America: An overview


Compulsory attendance


Prerequisites and restrictions

BA degree (or equivalent) in archaeology or a relevant discipline.
SAP and exchange students: admission after approval by the Graduate School of Archaeology.


Overview articles representative of the current state of research in the different fields of study will be critically analysed by the participants and discussed during the seminar sessions. Although a tutor will lead the discussion, active input by the participants is required, and will be the main evaluating tool for obtaining the credits. Participation will be channeled through summaries of articles presented by a participant, and then by going through the argumentation and content of the papers.

Learning outcomes

  • Overview knowledge of current research and debates in the Archaeology of the Americas (specifically Mesoamerica and the Caribbean), with ability to critically assess the literature and voice one’s properly argumented opinion;

  • Improved ability to critically summarise and analyse articles (define author’s key-arguments, pros and cons of the author’s opinion, etc.), find extra relevant literature and present this via a PowerPoint presentation, and the ability to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards;

  • Improved ability to write a paper on the seminar subject, with expression of a critical assessment of the literature and one’s own properly argumented opinion, making use of the feedback received with the presentation.

Mode of delivery



  • Active participation;

  • Presentations;

  • Written assignments.

Reading list

Various publications, partly to be assigned during class, and partly to be identified by the students themselves (library/internet search).
Refresh overview knowledge before the beginning of the class by reading recent introductory literature (e.g. chapters of The Human Past).

Time schedule

Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.