Admission to the MSc-programme Material Culture Studies.
The focus of this course lies on the various methods and techniques from exact sciences used to study the life history of artefacts. These analytical techniques are discussed and provide the tools for characterising and provenancing archaeological materials. Students are also familiarised with the advantages, pitfalls and practical implementation of microscopic and chemical techniques in scientific research.
The lectures will address the material properties and the analytical techniques (eg. XRF, NAA, XRD, etc.) used to provenance and characterise anorganic material remains (ceramics, paint & pigments, stone, metal). Organic residues (i.e. lipids, fuel, etc.) will be another focus, discussing for instance their origin and methods to analyse (eg. chromatography).
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 and chemical techniques relevant in art and archaeology;
Knowledge of residue and provenance analyses of stone tools, metals and pottery.
Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.
Mode of instruction
Written examination (60% of final grade);
Paper (30% of final grade);
Presentation (10% of final grade).
All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.
Pollard, M., Batt, C., Stern, B. & Young, S.M.M. 2007. “Some Basic Chemistry for Archaeologists” in: Analytical Chemistry in Archaeology. Cambridge, pp. 215-320;
Sillar, B. and M.S. Tite 2000. “The Challenge of ‘Technological Choices’ for Materials Science Approaches in Archaeology” in: Archaeometry 42: 2-20.;
Jones, A. (2004). “Archaeometry and Materiality: Materials-based Analysis in Theory and Practice” in: Archaeometry 46(3), 327-338;
Brothwell, D.R. and Pollard, A.M. (2008) Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. Section 6: Inorganic Resource exploitation, Chichester;
Recently published articles, to be announced.
For more information about this course, please contact dr. D.J.G. Braekmans.