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Historical archaeology of the Dutch expansion


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree obtained.


The commercial expansion of the Dutch since the 16th century and the colonial period that followed from the 19th century has left traces in many corners of the world. Historical-archaeological research of the
various types of material culture in regions where the Dutch were established, is of significant importance for our knowledge and understanding of social organisations of communities where different cultures come together. Strong emphasis will be on the maritime logistical aspects of the expansion.
This seminar will cast light on the material aspects of this expansion and the current debates within international historical archaeological research to Dutch contacts outside Europe. Thematically, different approaches and perspectives will be investigated which are connected to the logistical, military, commercial, and maritime backgrounds of the global network developed and maintained from the Netherlands. The various perspectives play a crucial role in the transformation of archaeological sites into cultural heritage. In the seminar the role will be discussed of this so-called ‘common heritage’ in collaboration agreements set up from the Netherlands.

Course objectives

  • Insight into the development of Dutch expansion outside Europe;

  • Knowledge of the most important material aspects of this history of expansion;

  • Insight into (current) debates and questions within the historical archaeology of Dutch expansion;

  • Situating the research focused on the Netherlands within the international context of, amongst others, ‘contact archaeology’, maritime archaeology, slavery and research into diasporas, etc.;

  • Insight into aspects that play a role in the creation of heritage in general and ‘common heritage’ in particular;

  • Knowledge of multidisciplinary methods of research.


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

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Assignments;

  • Presentation;

  • Research proposal.
    To be handed in by 1 December 2011.

Reading list

Will be handed out during class.


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

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact dr R. Parthesius.