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Exploring the dilemmas of Archaeological Heritage Management


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA-degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline, and having successfully concluded the course Discovering the concepts of archaeological heritage management.


This is the second phase of the specialisation on archaeological heritage management. In this phase students will be confronted with issues and dilemmas which they may encounter during their professional career as a heritage manager.
We will look into themes such as valuation and selection, commercial archaeology, public archaeology and tourism, community archaeology, looting and repatriation, etc. These themes will be introduced by lectures, some from (international) experts and practitioners from the field.

Students study in depth a particular theme and case study, which they discuss with their fellow students from the course. Students will write a review of the discussion in which they relate the discussed issues to the introduction lecture and to current debates in the literature.

The course is open to RMA-students. Although participating in the same sessions, their assignment will be different. Each RMA-student will lead and supervise a meeting in which their fellow students discuss one of the topics. At the end of the meeting they reflect on the discussion and provide feedback on the contents to the group.
In addition to this, they will write a different type of review, in which they focus on the multidisciplinary aspects of the discussed theme.

Course objectives

  • In-depth understanding of various aspects of international heritage management (such as protecting, managing, interpreting and experiencing the heritage);

  • In-depth understanding of the dilemmas of archaeological resource management in practice;

  • Insight into the diversity of opinions, approaches and stakeholders, and the role of the archaeologist in these;

  • Awareness of the relation of topics (such as protecting, managing, interpreting and experiencing the heritage) to wider debates;

  • Have a critical view into the current debates;

  • Ability to analyse and discuss literature;

  • Ability to voice one’s own well-argumented opinion, through discussion of case studies;

  • Ability to express one’s own well-argumented opinion in a review.

For RMA-students, in addition to the above:

  • Ability to quickly assess a discussion (contents and style) and to relate it to the assignment and literature;

  • Ability to give feedback to a group of peers (peer review);

  • Ability to assess the multidisciplinary elements of a discussion in a written review.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (1 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Review (2 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Discussion.

Assessment method

  • Discussion (40%);

  • Reflection on literature + review (40%);

  • Participation (20%).
    If the final mark is 6 or higher, a retake cannot be given for separate elements of the assessment.

Assessment deadline

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

  • G. Fairclough, R. Harrison, J.H. Jameson Jnr & J. Schofield (eds), The Heritage Reader. New York: Routledge (2008).

  • Additional articles.


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 mw. dr. M.H. van den Dries.