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Technical approaches in artefact studies


Compulsory attendance


Prerequisites and restrictions

Admission to the MA-programme.


The central focus of this course lies on the various methods and techniques used to study the life history of artifacts. A series of lectures will focus on various current microscopic techniques and the high-tech residue and provenance analyses of stone tools and pottery. Central will be the expertise of the two specialist laboratories which form the core of material culture studies: the Ceramic Laboratory and the Laboratory for Artefact Studies. Included is an excursion to various laboratories of the Technical University of Delft.

Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of and insight into the study of the life history of various categories of artefacts focusing on the various techniques and methodologies that are essential for such a study;

  • Knowledge of current microscopic techniques relevant in archaeological material culture studies;

  • Knowledge of residue and provenance analyses of stone tools and pottery.

Mode of delivery

  • Lectures;

  • Seminars.



Reading list

To be announced.

Time schedule

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