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Neolithisation in East Asia


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Propedeuse (1st year) obtained.


This course deals with neolithisation processes in Japan, Korea and China, deepening the knowledge gained in the first-year World Archaeology courses. Hunter-gatherer cultures (with a focus on the Jomon in Japan) will be discussed on the basis of case studies and characteristic sites, as well as contacts between the continent and the archipelago, the transition to agriculture and other Neolithic developments, and their influence on the rest of the region (Eastern Asia). The archaeology in practice in these countries with regard to prehistory will also be discussed.
Please note: this course alternates annually with Staatsvorming in Oost-Azië (State formation in Eastern Asia), which can be taken as a specialisation in bachelor year 3.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the types of prehistoric material culture and archaeological data with regard to hunter-gatherers and farmers;

  • Knowledge of and insight in the formative processes and cultural developments during prehistory, for example changes regarding subsistence-economy, settlements, the use of material and technology, trade, ideology and social structure (based on the Eastern Asian example);

  • Basic knowledge of the chronology of Eastern Asian cultures, from hunter-gatherers until the Late Neolithic (30.000 – 2000 BC), and the ability to define them;

  • Insight in the archaeological themes, methods and practices, as demonstrated in the case studies, and the ability to give a critical review.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.
Exam dates can be found in the examination schedule.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assignment 1: to be handed in in the 4th course week;
Assignment 2: to be handed in during the exam week.

Reading list

Chapters from:

  • G.L. Barnes, The Rise of Civilization in East Asia. The archaeology of China, Korea and Japan. London: Thames & Hudson (1993/1999);

  • J. Habu, Ancient Jomon of Japan. Cambridge University Press (2004);

  • T. Kobayashi, Jomon Reflections. Forager life and culture in het prehistoric Japanese archipelago. Oxford: Oxbow Books (2004);

  • Various articles.


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 mw dr I.R. Bausch.


The course will be taught in English if foreign (exchange) students are present, otherwise the course will be taught in Dutch.