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Andean culture history


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Degree students (including Dutch BA graduates): BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.
SAP and Exchange Students: BA degree. Admission only after formal application.


This course gives an analysis of the cultural, linguistic and social developments in the Andean region from precolonial and colonial times till the present, following the essays in a handbook with additional recent literature. This seminar may be combined with study of Inca language, literature and world view (courses in Quechua are taught regularly by dr S. van de Kerke, Faculty of Humanities).

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of current research and debates in Andean culture history;

  • Ability to critically assess current research on this topic and voice one’s well-argumented opinion;

  • Ability to connect research on living Native American cultures with historical research questions;

  • Ability to choose a research topic, find relevant literature, present this via a PowerPoint presentation and ability to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards;

  • Ability to write a paper on one’s research topic, with expression of a critical assessment of the literature and one’s own well-argumented opinion, making use of the feedback received with the presentation.


Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Seminar. Students give presentations about essays of the handbook, with their own evaluation, based on other recent literature. There will be a general discussion with comments by the lecturer.

Assessment method

  • Active participation with presentations;

  • Written assignments (including a paper). The deadline for the assignments and paper is the exam week at the end of the course.

Reading list

Before starting the seminar: refresh your overview knowledge by studying the BA literature on this subject, i.e. C. Scarre, The Human Past. New York: Thames and Hudson (2005). Chapter 17: From Village to Empire in South America, pp. 640-668.

For the seminar itself, students are required to read and present their comments upon:
F. Salomon & S. Schwartz, The Cambridge History of Native American Peoples: South America (2 vols). Cambridge University Press (1999).
In addition, students have to identify other relevant publications (through library/internet search).


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contractonderwijs: all information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudent is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact prof. dr W.F.H. Adelaar.