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Advanced Area Specialisation Europe: Block 1


Admission requirements

Admission to the Research Master Archaeology programme.


This course provides an overview of the highlights of European archaeology. The series is structured around important themes that are relevant across periods and geographic regions. Themes are illustrated by crucial case studies taken from across European archaeology.

The course instills familiarity with the research history of European Archaeology, with the diversity of human societies from Pleistocene hunter-gatherers to historic urban states, and with the breadth of human experience.

Assignments are geared towards training in data analysis and sound archaeological reasoning, and provide a crucial preparation for the research design of the MA-thesis:

  • 1 assignment peer-reviewed articles – articles of your choice/area

  • 2 lectures and 2 assignments on Palaeolithic Archaeology

  • 1 lecture and 1 assignment on Holocene hunter-gatherers and early farmers

  • 1 lecture and 1 assignment on the Bronze Age and Iron Age

  • 2 lectures and 2 assignments on Late medieval/Urban archaeology

  • 1 assignment (poster) on a topic of your choice/area

  • 1 of the assignments results in an academic debate in the class in which each group represents a different viewpoint

  • 1 of the assignments results in an elevator pitch in Pecha Kucha form in class

  • 1 of the assignments results in a stakeholders meeting in the class in which every group represents a different stakeholder

The groups comprise 3 students and are composed by the lecturers with mixed groups (international/Dutch students and RMA/MA) as a starting point. You work with your group for 2 weeks, after which there will be a regrouping. The final assignment (poster) is an individual assignment.

Course objectives

Specific knowledge

  • Awareness of research history of European Archaeology in Palaeolithic Archaeology, Bronze Age and Iron Age archaeology, and urban archaeology;

  • Knowledge and understanding of Northwest-European Palaeolithic Archaeology (~800,000 - 10,000 ka), with a focus on understanding the earliest occupation of Europe and the interaction between Neanderthals and modern humans;

  • Knowledge and understanding of the Bronze Age and Iron Age;

  • Knowledge and understanding of Urban Archaeology (1000-1800) in Northwest-Europe.

Academic skills

  • Proficiency in presentations;

  • Ability to work in groups;

  • Ability to take perspective in an academic debate, adopting the perspective of a different viewpoint;

  • Communication of research findings to academic audience;

  • Writing skills (e.g., weekly essay title competition; becoming (more) familiar with the CARS model);

  • Ability to properly formulate and present an argument and demonstrate a precise and academic approach to an archaeological issue.


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

  • Seminar with interactive presentations;

  • One-hour feedback prior to the group presentation;

  • Student presentations followed by questions and discussion.

Assessment method

  • (Group) presentation (10%);

  • (Group) assignment peer-reviewed articles (15%);

  • Elevator pitch in PechaKucha form (15%);

  • Weekly (group) essays (3x15%);

  • Individual poster presentation (15%).

A retake of an assignment or the presentation is not possible, a fail for an assignment can be compensated by other assignments.

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.

There are strict weekly deadlines for the assignments. Each week there will be either an assignment or a presentation due. Please note that extensions on assignments will not be given.

There is no final assignment, this means that the course will be finished on the last day of class.

Reading list

The reading list is to be compiled in collaboration with research area specialists.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

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


For more information about this course, please contact dr. G.L. (Gerrit) Dusseldorp.


Compulsory attendance.