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Material Studies


Admission requirements



This module provides a general overview of the artefact categories most frequently recovered during survey and excavation.
You will get acquainted with the nature and physical properties of different materials and will acquire a basic understanding of the different production processes through which those artefacts were made.

You will learn to distinguish different materials, identify main artefact forms, and describe key technological features.

Course set-up

Lectures for each material category, with an addition of knowledge clips. Students are expected to learn the content of the lectures and clips as a preparation to the practical sessions.

Practical sessions will take place on campus in groups once a week. You will also have the chance to ask questions about the content of the lectures and reader during the practical classes.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Recognise a range of archaeological material and artefacts including pottery, flint, stone, bone and antler;

  • Acquire basic knowledge of the physical and mechanical properties of different materials;

  • Understand the main production processes of artefacts made of pottery, flint, metal stone, and diverse organic materials;

  • Describe artefacts made of these materials from a technological perspective;

  • Understand the connectivities between different crafts.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Practicals with assignments;

  • Online content (including recorded lectures);

  • Readings.

Please bring drawing paper, pencil and a loupe (10x) to the practicals. The loupe can also be purchased at the start of the practical. For more information: see Brightspace.

Course load

  • 7 x 2 hours lectures (1 ec);

  • 7 x 3 hours of practicals (1 ec);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ec);

  • Online tests, knowledge clips and additional resources (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • 1 theoretical exam (multiple choice) (60%);

  • 1 practical exam (40%).

The theoretical exam can be done online for those who are unable to come to campus.
The practical exam needs to be taken on campus. If you are unable to attend the practicals or the exam (or both), please contact the study adviser and the coordinator of this course (see Contact).

The final grade is the (weighed) average of the results of both the theory and practical exam, provided that the lowest mark is at least 5.0.
Failed exams can be retaken.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

Reading list

  • Reader (syllabus), available online through Brightspace;

  • Additional readings will be listed on Brightspace.


The Administration Office will register all Archaeology BA1 students in uSis for their lectures and tutorials.
If you are not in Archaeology BA1, you can register for this course by e-mailing the Administration Office. Use your uMail, messages sent from private mail accounts cannot be verified and will not be processed.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace.

The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, you 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.


For more information about this course, please contact drs. M. (Martina) Revello Lami.


  • Attendance to the practical sessions is obligatory;

  • Lectures will be in English, practicals may not always be supervised by Dutch-speaking instructors.