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Landscape Archaeology Projects



Bachelor year 2.

Admission requirements

First-year courses World Archaeology, Landscape Dynamics 1 and Landscape Dynamics 2 obtained.


Our contemporary landscapes have a deep history of holding visible and non-visible relics of human activities. The main goal of this course is to learn how to gain knowledge of landscapes through - especially - archaeological research, by integrating theoretical exploration and practical implementation.

The understanding of past landscapes in archaeology is a challenge, both from a theoretical and a methodological perspective. Students design and present a research proposal for a (simplified) practical situation, in which original and unconventional methods are encouraged. Which choices did you make (and which not) and from which perception on an archaeological landscape? And what exactly does the term 'landscape' mean throughout history?

Using a series of formal (theoretical) lectures about different kinds of research projects of landscapes from different periods and/or regions, you design your own research proposal. The assignments are made in small groups. Based on the students’ presentations, practical issues are discussed, such as: what is the meaning of a dot on an archaeological distribution map? What is a ‘site’? And an important methodological question: how do you research a landscape? And why is this research meaningful?

The assignments also include questions such as: how will you communicate your results to 'the public' that finances your research? And can landscape archaeology contribute to present discussions about the management and planning of our contemporary landscapes in general?

Set-up of the course

  • In the morning formal lectures will be given about a certain topic, a region or theme related to landscape archaeology;

  • In the afternoon you will work step-by-step on a research design for your own landscape project. Tasks such as how to organise and structure your project, how to design a step-by-step research plan will be addressed individually, under supervision;

  • At the end of the course the research proposals are presented and discussed in class.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the main aspects and definitions in landscape archaeology;

  • Knowledge and applicability of the fundamental (theoretical) approaches within landscape archaeology;

  • Learn to design a research proposal for a chosen research area (a landscape) including a fieldwork strategy based on one's own research goal and questions, and within a limited budget;

  • Ability to translate and communicate scientific results to ‘the public’;

  • Ability to convincingly present one's results in front of the class;

  • Ability to formulate arguments orally, and in writing;

  • Ability to work in a team.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA2 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Formal and interactive lectures;

  • Practical sessions with assignments and autonomous study.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 20 hours of formal lectures (1 ec);

  • 28 hours of interactive practicals and self-study (2 ec);

  • 180 pages of literature (1 ec);

  • Group assignment including presentation and paper (max. 1,800 words) (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • Group presentation (25%);

  • Research proposal/paper (75%).

The retake of the paper consists of rewriting the paper for which a maximum grade of 6,0 will be given.

All exam dates (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA2 examination schedule.
Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Reading list

The overall literature and literature for the different assignments will be announced during the introduction lecture.


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.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. M.H.G. Kuijpers.


Compulsory attendance.