nl en

Seminar: Current issues in Prehistoric research


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA degree (or equivalent) in archaeology or a relevant discipline.

SAP and exchange students: admission after approval by the Graduate School of Archaeology.


Articles are discussed from recent issues of one of the important peer reviewed journals. Each week a group of 2 or 3 participants present their views in class, others do the same in writing. The assignment is to find out what the theoretical background of the author is and how that affects his/her opinion or methodology. An important aspect of the assignment is to detect hidden assumptions or hidden agendas.
The students are ‘forced’ to formulate a well-argumented opinion on the article. In that manner they learn both in writing and in discussion how to critically assess other people’s research and the premises that they use.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of and insight in interpretative approaches to data from the Neolithic to the Iron Age;

  • Critical assessment of current research with respect to applicability and background;

  • Ability to voice one’s properly argumented opinion on these topics;

  • Knowledge of and insight in theoretical approaches;

  • Insight in the applicability of theoretical models on data;

  • Ability to formulate well-structured arguments orally, and in writing.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures;

  • 280 pages of literature;

  • Presentation;

  • Assignments.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Student presentations;

  • Discussion on the basis of written assignments under supervision of staff members;

  • If possible, the course will be concluded with a Graduate School international workshop.

Assessment method

  • Written weekly assignments (1,000 words each);

  • Participation in discussion;

  • Presentations in class.

Assessment deadline

The assignments will have strict weekly deadlines.

Reading list

Pdf’s accessible via the University Library.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact prof. dr H. Fokkens.