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Dutch Prehistory in a European Context


Admission requirements

  • World Archaeology 2.1 obtained;

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

  • BA3 students who want to take this course: please contact the Administration Office. You can only be admitted if there are spots left, BA2 students will have priority.


What can the Prehistory of the Netherlands contribute to fundamental debates in European archaeology, and how does our material relate to some of the major developments in European Prehistory? How does the find of, for example, a single Neolithic burial or an Iron Age well contribute to our understanding of broad developments across the continent?

During the course you will discuss the major developments – such as the adoption of farming, ritual landscapes, exchange networks and identity – and will learn to relate them to material discovered in the Netherlands.
At the same time you will become familiar with the most commonly found archaeological find categories in Dutch Prehistory, and you will be able to place them in a chronological framework during the practical sessions.

The main goal of the course is for you to get an overview of the Prehistory – including the related material culture - of the Netherlands, and to be able to place your research within a larger European framework.

Course set-up

In the mornings we will discuss a topic and the overarching theme or period. In the afternoons students will work with material related to the theme or period and make assignments based on the topic of that morning.

Course objectives

  • Insight into the chronology, material and cultures of late Prehistory 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 ranging from the Neolithic until the Iron Age;

  • Knowledge and skills necessary for analysing, describing and drawing archaeological finds, especially flint and ceramics;

  • Ability to present one's results in class;

  • Ability to formulate arguments orally and in writing;

  • Ability to work in a team.


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 active learning;

  • Practical sessions in groups of two or three students, with assignments.

Assessment method

  • Group presentation (50%);

  • Essay (50%).

A retake is only possible for the essay, if the presentation is graded with a 5.0 or higher, and if all other requirements are met.

The retake of the essay consists of rewriting the paper, for which a maximum grade of 6.0 will be given.

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.

Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Reading list

Per meeting there will be one or two papers to read. The reading list will be distributed two weeks prior to the start of the class. Make sure you are registered for this course in uSis, so you can access the Brightspace module in time.


Registration start dates for the BA2 seminars differ from the registration dates of the regular courses.

Registration will take place with the use of forms. These will be e-mailed by the study advisers to all BA2 students and pre-master students at the beginning of January 2024.

The Administration Office will register all Archaeology BA2 students in uSis for their seminar exams. However, confirmation of these exams in MyStudymap is mandatory. No confirmation = no participation!


For more information about this course, please contact


Compulsory attendance.