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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 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 how we can critically analyse such articles and to find arguments pro and contra the position taken by the author. Students learn to formulate a well-argumented opinion both in writing and in discussion.

RMA-students taking this class are expected to discuss for each article the theoretical background of the authors and the assumptions that are a consequence of these models. They are expected to gain insight in how this effects the position that the author takes in analysing and interpreting data.

Course objectives

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

  • Insight in the applicability of theoretical models on data;

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

  • RMA-students also acquire knowledge of and insight in theoretical approaches.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • Lectures (1 ects);

  • Assignments, including reading (3 ects);

  • Presentation (1 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar with student presentations;

  • Discussion.

Assessment method

  • Written assignments (70%);

  • Participation in discussion (20%);

  • Presentations in class (10%).

Assessment deadline

The assignments will have strict weekly deadlines.

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

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.