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Current issues in the archaeology of the frontier regions of the Roman Empire


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree obtained.


The Roman conquest ushered in major changes in society, ethnicity, religion, technology and organisational complexity, laying the foundations for a truly international empire.
In the frontier regions – especially of the North-Western provinces – the long-term military presence is the dominant factor, and we will investigate various aspects of the current debate on Roman frontiers and frontier communities as well as the role of the army in the development of provincial structures and its interaction with the indigenous inhabitants of the region. Although focusing on North-Western Europe, the course has an international orientation, with links to sister institutions abroad.

The topics chosen will relate to ongoing departmental research, both national and international, and will vary from year to year (e.g. frontier communities, ritual deposition in military contexts, military background of urban development). Debate in the provincial Roman community as expressed in the annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference and its publications informs the theoretical background to this programme.

Course objectives

  • Understanding of the complexity of the Roman Period in North-Western Europe and beyond;

  • Familiarity with significant sites and excavations;

  • Acquaintance with the recent theoretical debate;

  • Writing skills;

  • Presentation skills.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7 lectures (1 ects);

  • 360 pages of literature (2,5 ects);

  • assignments, 3,000 words (1,5 ects).


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

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Active participation & discussion;

  • Paper (3,000 words).

Assessment deadline

The paper deadline is 19 december 2012.

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Blackboard.


Register for this course via 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 C. van Driel-Murray.