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Research in Mesoamerica and the Andes


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA (or equivalent) in Archaeology or another relevant discipline.


The main aim of this seminar is to discuss current streams of interpretation in Mesoamerican and Andean archaeology.
Recent overview articles in different fields of study will be critically analysed during student presentations. Themes and literary material covering the main historical developments within each area will be provided as a starting point for general assessment. Presenters will have to search and provide more contemporary references or multimedia material in order to illustrate the current state of research.
Active input by presenters and fellow students is expected, providing their own observations, arguments and judgment of the overall quality of the literary material provided. The course will also reflect on Mesoamerican and Andean archaeological data.

Course objectives

  • Overview knowledge of current research and debates in the archaeology and anthropology of Mesoamerica and the Andes;

  • Improved ability to critically summarise and analyse articles (define author’s key-arguments, pros and cons of the author’s opinion, etc.), through short written texts and presentations;

  • Ability to find additional relevant sources of information and show this via a PowerPoint presentation, and to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14×2 hours of lectures;

  • Assignments;

  • Presentation;

  • 280 pages of literature.


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

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Active participation;

  • PowerPoint presentation;

  • Assessment commentaries posted on Blackboard (max. 300-500 words).

Assessment deadline

Participation, presentations and commentaries will be graded after each class.

Reading list

Themes and basic literary material will be provided at the start of each block, see Blackboard.

For an overview of Mesoamerican archaeology:

  • S.T. Evans, Ancient Mexico and Central America: Archaeology and Culture History. New York: Thames and Hudson (2008);

  • Silverman, Helaine & Isbel (reds), Handbook of South American Archaeology. New York: Springer (2008).


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

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 A. Rojas Martinez Gracida.