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Research in Mesoamerica and the Andes 1


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA (or equivalent) in Archaeology or relevant discipline.


This seminar will present and critically discuss current research and streams of interpretation in the archaeologies of Central America (block III) and the Andes (block IV). For this purpose, different themes and literature will be provided, thus encouraging active participation.

Specialists on different Mesoamerican and Andean areas may also be invited as guest lecturers. Students will write small critical commentaries for each lecture, and each will give one presentation. Students must be able to situate the course topics and literature within current theoretical and/or methodological frameworks of research.
RMA-students will have to evaluate the broader relevance and scientific scope, and suggest new avenues for future research.

Course objectives

  • To acquire up-to-date knowledge of the research and debates in the archaeology of Central America and the Andes;

  • Improved ability to critically summarise and analyse articles (define author’s key-arguments, pros and cons of the author’s opinion, etc.), through short written texts and presentations;

  • Improved skills in searching for bibliographical sources and gathering relevant information, to be presented in a PowerPoint presentation;

  • Ability to trigger and handle a stimulating discussion.


  • Ability to conduct original research with the support of innovative theoretical or methodological inquiries.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14×2 hours of lectures (2 ects);

  • 300 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • 20 hours of work for presentation (1 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar lectures;

  • Presentations.

Assessment method

  • Assessment commentaries posted on Blackboard (300-500 words max.) (30%);

  • Active participation in discussion (20%);

  • PowerPoint presentation (50%).

Assessment deadline

The commentaries have weekly deadlines.
Presentations will be scheduled during class sessions.

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

Reading list

Specific literature will be provided at the outset of the course. Suggested background literature consists of:

  • D.L. Nichols & C.A. Pool (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press (2012);

  • Silverman, Helaine & W.H. Isbell (eds), Handbook of South American Archaeology. New York: Springer (2008).


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

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 dr. A. Geurds.