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Maritime archaeology


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree obtained.


The identity of a country, a community, is related to the knowledge of its own past. Luckily this gets more recognised lately. Besides historical information, also the relics that are buried under the sediment form an important source of this past, at least when properly studied.
An important part of the material past in many countries can be found under water. The Netherlands are such a country. This is not so strange: Dutch activities in the past are often connected with the sea and their (trading) connections with other nations. Also many other countries within Europe and beyond have a dominant maritime culture. In addition, this maritime culture not only reflects in the material culture that can be found underwater, but also on land.

Maritime Archaeology will focus on maritime cultural heritage, the maritime landscape, underwater archaeology and ship archaeology: we will talk about the definitions, the differences and the connections between these disciplines. We will look at (current) research, management and policy. There will be a focus on Dutch territory, but also examples from other parts in Europe and the rest of the world will be used.

Course objectives

  • Ability to distinguish different disciplines in maritime cultural heritage management;

  • Knowledge of the development of ship building traditions in Northwest Europe;

  • Awareness of the most important subjects of research in maritime and underwater archaeology;

  • Knowledge of the most important subjects in management and policy in maritime cultural heritage;

  • Knowledge of methods and technology in maritime archaeology (with a focus on underwater archaeology).

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 hours of lectures (1 ects);

  • 2-3 short essays, 1,500 words in total (1 ects);

  • 420 pages of literature (3 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorial;

  • Discussions;

  • (if possible) excursion.

Assessment method

  • Written examination (60%);

  • 2 short assignments during the course (20% each).

Assessment deadline

The exam date can be found in the examination schedule.

The papers will have to be finished within a week, before the next class starts.

Reading list

Literature will be made available during the course.


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 drs. M.R. Manders.