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World Archaeology 3.1: Historical Archaeology



Bachelor year 1.


The lecture series World Archaeology gives an outline of the deep history of humans and society from our early ancestors to the more complex societies in the world. The role of material culture in society is discussed and shown in many regions and periods. Comparisons between different regions and scales allow us to understand connections between the unique and the global.

In this course we will provide an introduction to important themes of the archaeology of Europe and the Mediterranean in Medieval and Modern times (e.g. Byzantines, Arabs, Franks).
We will introduce you to towns and the process of urbanisation using the town where you will study the coming years: Leiden. We will also address the process of Christianisation, exchange, trade and economy, empires, diet and material culture.

Set-up of the course

Daily schedule:
9-11 hrs: lectures Dutch and English
10-12 hrs: tutorial
12-13 hrs: wrap-up / q&a (all students)

Course objectives

  • Basic understanding of the major empires of Medieval and early Modern Europe and the Mediterranean;

  • Basic understanding of 4 long-term major processes in Medieval and early Modern Europe and the Mediterranean: Christianisation, urbanisation, commercialisation of exchange, and fragmentation of political structures;

  • First introduction to a number of categories of material culture;

  • Learn to co-operate with other students, in small groups;

  • Learn to present research results.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA1 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorials, in which students work under supervision on assignments on the literature and practice their knowledge;

  • Visit to the town of Leiden.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 18 hours of lectures (0,5 ec);

  • 52 hours of course preparation, assignments, literature (2 ec).

Assessment method

Multiple choice exam (100%)

During the course there will be 5 assignments all students have to submit through Brightspace. Each assignment can get the student a bonus of 0.1 for their final grade.

A retake of the exam is only possible in case of a fail (conform our teaching rules and regulations) and only when the requirements of attendance and assignments are met. Compensation between the grades of WA3.1 and WA3.2 is only possible if the individual grades are a 5.0 or higher.

All exam dates (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA1 examination schedule.
Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

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.

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 prof. dr. J.A.C. (Joanita) Vroom.


Compulsory attendance during lectures and tutorials. Upon missing more than one lecture/tutorial the student will be excluded from the exam.