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The Roman Frontier



Bachelor year 2.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor Archaeology first year obtained;

  • This is a seminar with a limited amount of participants (20 students), for Archaeology students exclusively.


The Roman period in North-Western Europe, one of the frontier regions of the Roman Empire, fulfills a pivotal role between Prehistory and the Middle Ages. While many prehistoric practices, such as rituals and house-building traditions were persistent, a whole series of changes occurred, coining this period as a time of transition.

The end of the Roman period also marks the start of a new phase in European history: The Middle Ages. This course focuses on the central debate in Roman Archaeology: how did the Roman Empire extend into North-Western Europe, how did the Empire deal with local communities and vice versa, and did the Empire come to an end?

During the course you will engage in discussions about the major developments and learn to relate them to material or sites from the Netherlands.
The main goal of the course is for you to get an overview of the Roman period – including related material culture - of the Netherlands and to be able to place your research within a larger European framework.

Set-up of the course

In the morning a topic and the overarching theme or period will be discussed. In the afternoon you will handle material related to the theme or period, make assignments based on the topic of that morning, or deal with a subject that is discussed during a guest lecture.

Course objectives

  • Insight into the chronology, material and cultures of the Roman period in North-Western Europe;

  • Insight into the major developments and the key issues and debates;

  • Ability to define and apply important theoretical concepts such as ritual, exchange, power and identity;

  • Knowledge of and the ability to distinguish and identify the main types of material culture;

  • Ability to work in a team.


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

Mode of instruction

Seminar with active learning (in the mornings) and practical sessions in groups by means of assignments (in the afternoons).

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 24 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • 12 hours of tutorial sessions (1 ec);

  • 12 hours of practical sessions (1 ec);

  • Ca. 300 pages of literature (2 ec).

Assessment method

Written examination.

All exam dates (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA2 examination schedule.

Reading list

Per meeting there will be 1 or 2 papers to read. The reading list will be distributed 2 weeks prior to the start of the class. Make sure you are registered for this course's Brightspace module in time.


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.

  • Registration deadlines for the BA2 seminars:
    Series 1: 16 September 2019, 07:00 hrs
    Series 2: 13 January 2020, 07:00 hrs
    Series 3: 24 February 2020, 07:00 hrs

  • 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. J. (Jasper) de Bruin.


Compulsory attendance.