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Maritime archaeology


Admission requirements

Admission to the ®MA programme in Archaeology.


Maritime archaeology focuses on the relation between people and water. Water as a means of transport of goods, culture and e.g. religion.
An important part of the material past in many countries can be found under water or does have a relation with water. The Netherlands are an example of a maritime country. 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.

This course 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.
Besides getting an introduction in maritime and underwater archaeological research, management and policy will play a role in the classes as well. How do we assess, preserve and monitor sites in situ? What are the current issues?
There will be a strong focus on archaeology and management in 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).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorial;

  • Role play;

  • Discussions;

  • (If possible) excursion.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 28 hours of lectures/tutorials (2 ects);

  • Assignments (2 ects);

  • Literature (1 ects).

Assessment method

  • One small individual paper (10%);

  • One group assignment (paper, 25%);

  • Role play (15%);

  • Written exam (50%).
    Only a retake for the written exam is possible.

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

Reading list

Literature will be made available during the course.


Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory. For instructions, see the Registration in uSis page.

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

Registration ‘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).


For more information about this course, please contact drs. M.R. Manders.