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Heritage, Archaeology and Maritime Landscapes


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Archaeology programme.

The course is open to students with Archaeological Heritage Management in a World Context as their first or second focus area, and to RMA’s following the track Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World.
However, students from other tracks who want to know more about maritime archaeology and heritage management are welcome as well.


This course focuses on the historical relationship between humans and water and how we deal with this in our society.
In many past societies water was an important means of transporting goods, people and ideas. The maritime world forms part of many countries’ national identity, and the material past found under or near the water may be hidden or forgotten. The Netherlands are such an example. Dutch activities in the past are often connected with the sea and (trading) connections overseas, with the world’s rivers, seas and oceans as highways and fastest routes.

This course will explore the meaning of water in past societies through the maritime cultural heritage that has been left behind. The maritime landscape will function as a context and connection between individual sites. It will also include an analysis of the way underwater and ship archaeology can contribute to our knowledge of the maritime past, including how we treat this heritage in our present society.
There will be a focus on the Netherlands, but other parts of Europe and the world will be taken into consideration as well.

Course objectives

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

  • Knowledge of the development of maritime and underwater archaeology;

  • Knowledge of the maritime traditions and landscape approaches, and ability to integrate these into other archaeological studies;

  • Awareness of selected past and current subjects of research in maritime and underwater archaeology;

  • Knowledge of the main elements and perspectives in management and policy in maritime cultural heritage;

  • Introducing a maritime view to our past for both specialists and non-specialists.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorial;

  • Discussions, and if possible, excursion and role play.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

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

  • Assignments (2 ec);

  • Literature (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • One short individual paper (10%);

  • One group assignment (paper) (25%);

  • Role play (15%);

  • Written exam (50%).

There is only a retake for the written exam.

The role play will be organised when there is a minimum quorum of 18 students. If it is left out, the written exam will count for 65% of the assessment.

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


  • Short individual paper: early in the course;

  • Group assignment (paper): halfway – at two-thirds of the course;

  • Role play: end of the course;

  • Written exam: after the course.

Reading list

To be announced at the start of the course.


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

  • The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, students are not required to do this in uSis.

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 dr. M.R. Manders.


  • Compulsory attendance;

  • It is the aim to organise an excursion. This however depends on finding the right date. The excursion will take up about half a day.