nl en

Urban archaeology


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or other relevant discipline.


This course will focus on the archaeology of towns and cities in the period after AD 1000. The case studies will be derived from the Low Countries and North-Western Europe and focus on multidisciplinary research.

Topics in relation to urbanisation are:

  • The urban revolution in North-Western Europe; what are differences between town and countryside?;

  • Urban topography and urban ‘design’; townscapes: similarities and differences;

  • Urban houses and the urban adaptation; waste management;

  • Trade and ceramics; the nature of urban economy and the archaeological visibility of commercial and artisanal production.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the process of urbanisation for the Low Countries in a European setting;

  • Ability to apply major topics and concepts to a case study;

  • Oral presentation skills;

  • Ability to work in a team;

  • Critical reading of articles;

  • Ability to properly formulate and present an argument and demonstrate a precise and academic approach to an archaeological issue.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7 × 2 hours lectures (1 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Assignments and presentation (2 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Student presentations;

Assessment method

  • Assignments (80%);

  • Presentation, in class (20%).

Assessment deadline

The assignments have weekly deadlines. Assignments must be handed in one day before the next course is scheduled. The last assignment is to be handed in on the day before the last class.

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

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Blackboard.
Literature for the entry test held at the first meeting. A selection about towns from:

  • J. Graham-Campbell & M. Valor (eds), (2007) The Archaeology of Medieval Europe Vol. 1 Eighth to Twelfth Centuries;

  • M. Carver & J. Klápstĕ (eds), (2011) The Archaeology of Europe Vol. 2 Twelfth to Sixteenth Centuries.


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

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contractonderwijs: all information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudent is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw. dr. R.M.R. van Oosten.