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Material Studies 1


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. 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;

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

  • Understand the main production processes of artefacts made of pottery, metal and lithics;

  • 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;

  • Readings.

Please bring drawing paper, pencil and a loupe (10x) to the practicals. For more information: see Brightspace.

Assessment method

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

  • 1 practical exam (40%).

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.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.

BA1 (first-year) Archaeology students will be enrolled by the Administration Office. If you are not a BA1 student, but want to take this course, please contact the Administration Office.

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 dr. D.J.G. (Dennis) Braekmans.


  • Attendance to the practical sessions is obligatory;

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