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Indigenous values and cultural interaction


Conmpulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or relevant discipline.

SAP and Exchange students: Bachelor’s degree. Admission only after formal application.


Archaeological sites, ancient art-works and architecture, living indigenous languages, sacred narratives, worldviews, offerings, systems of measuring time, and many other cultural expressions constitute a valuable corpus of world-human heritage.
In the Americas there are diverse forms of material and immaterial culture which open up the possibility to learn of cultural continuity, social cohesion, resilience, and cultural memory in the context of colonised histories, urban developments, and a global connected sphere.

This seminar will focus on archaeological and anthropological research in and with indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala and other parts of the Americas attempting a closer understanding of diverse forms of cultural heritage values interestingly embedded in -sometimes complex – human and social interactions. The experiences here shared, though focused in the Americas, can be applied cross-culturally and therefore expect a nourishing platform for discussing ways to ethically approach the rich archaeological and living heritage world-wide.

Course objectives

  • Acquisition of up-to-date knowledge on the research and debates in the archaeology and anthropology concerned with indigenous or native communities;

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

  • Ability to transmit archaeological and anthropological knowledge to non-specialist audiences;

  • Improve skills in searching for bibliographical sources and gathering relevant information to be shown in a PowerPoint presentation;

  • Ability to trigger and handle stimulating discussion.

Besides, for RMA-students:

  • Ability to conduct original research with the support of innovative theoretical or methodological inquiries;

  • Presenting relevant and innovative methods for transmitting knowledge to non-specialist audiences.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (1 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Weekly written assignments (1 ects);

  • 20 hours of work for making and giving 1 presentation (including attending presentations of fellow students) (1 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar lectures;

  • Presentations.

Assessment method

  • Assessment commentaries posted on Blackboard (max. 300-500 words) (30%);

  • Active participation in discussion (20%);

  • PowerPoint presentation (50%).

Assessment deadline

There are weekly deadlines for the assessment commentaries. Presentations will be scheduled during class sessions.

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

Reading list

Specific readings will be provided at the outset of the course.


Register for this course 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 Contractstudents is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw. dr. A. Rojas.