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Maritime archaeology


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree obtained.


The identity of a country, a community, is related to the knowledge of its own past. Luckily this gets more recognised lately. Besides historical information, also the relics that are buried under the sediment form an important source of this past, at least when properly studied.
An important part of the material past in many countries can be found under water. The Netherlands are such a country. This is not so strange since Dutch activities in the past are often connected with the sea and their (trading) connections with other nations. Many other countries within Europe and beyond also have a dominant maritime culture. In addition, this maritime culture not only reflects in the material culture that can be found underwater, but also on land.
This course will focus on maritime cultural heritage, the maritime landscape, underwater archaeology and ship archaeology: we will talk about the definitions, the differences and the connections between these disciplines. We will look at (current) research, management and policy. There will be a focus on Dutch territory, but examples from other parts of Europe and the rest of the world will also be used.

Course objectives

  • Ability to distinguish different disciplines in maritime cultural heritage management;

  • Knowledge of the development of ship building traditions in Northwest Europe;

  • Awareness of the most important subjects of research in maritime archaeology;

  • Knowledge of the most important subjects in management and policy in maritime cultural heritage;

  • Knowledge of methods and technology in maritime archaeology (with a focus on underwater archaeology).

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorial;

  • Discussions;

  • (if possible) excursion.

Assessment method

  • Written examination;

  • Short papers during the course. These have to be finished within a week, before the next class starts.

Reading list

Literature will be made available during the course.


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

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact drs M.R. Manders.