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Material Studies 2


Admission requirements

Material Studies 1 or equivalent course obtained.


The main aim of the course is twofold: to provide insights into diverse theoretical and analytical approaches and methodologies to the study of material culture, as well as to advance knowledge about current procedures used to classify and characterise archaeological finds.

The course seeks to integrate the practice of recording archaeological objects and the need of anchoring the data gathered within a solid research framework.

The final goal is to illustrate how to integrate basic descriptions and analytical procedures today at our disposal in order to address current issues in archaeology, thus, how to pass from the simple act of processing finds to reconstruct craft activities.

Course set-up

  • Lectures in which specific material categories, associated research questions and interpretative frameworks will be discussed. Lectures will offer thematic material lectures and case studies;

  • Practical sessions will take place in groups. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the content of the lectures during the practical classes;

  • Practical sessions are instrumental to gather the necessary information in order to carry out the written assignment: a handbook/catalogue describing an assemblage of objects.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the module students will acquire:

  • Insight in broad theoretical and analytical concepts on material culture;

  • Knowledge of widely used methods in analysing material culture;

  • Ability to identify and analyse the most common archaeological finds from excavations and surveys;

  • Learn how to report your analysis on archaeological material in a written assignment.


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;

  • Assignments.

Assessment method

  • 1 exam (open questions) (50%);

  • 1 written assignment (50%).

Assessment of both the theoretical and practical part will take place after the completion of the course. Students are allowed to retake the theory exam and to re-submit their report in case of a fail.

The theory exam and written assignment will be marked separately, but there will be one final result. Grades over 5.0 for the theory exam can be compensated with the grade obtained for the written assignment.

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

A selection of reading materials and papers (on Brightspace) and practical-specific documentation.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

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

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


Compulsory attendance.