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Archaeological theory


Admission requirements

Propedeuse (first year) Archaeology obtained.


This course illustrates the application of archaeological theory through seven thematic lectures (capita selecta) in which concepts and insights from theoretical archaeology will be applied to case studies from various periods and regions.

Course objectives

  • Awareness of the practical problems and possibilities of applying theory in archaeological practice;

  • Ability to compare and valuate different approaches in various regional contexts to current theoretical issues;

  • Acquaintance with the applicability of theoretical models on data;

  • Learning how to be critical and self-confident in writing short essays with theoretical subjects.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (1 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Weekly discussion in 7 mini essays of 350 words + final essay of 1,200 words (2 ects).

Assessment method

  • 7 mini essays of max. 350 words each, during the course (50%);

  • Final essay of 1,200 words (50%).

The deadline of the weekly mini-essays is the next week after each lecture. The final essay (of 1200 words) is due 2 weeks after the last meeting, and will be accepted only after submission of all 7 mini essays. All essays must be submitted through Turnitin and /or SafeAssign, and only on-time Turnitin/SafeAssign submissions count.

If you fail the course, there is an opportunity for a retake. This is only possible after submission of all 8 essays during the course. The retake will happen in the form of a single longer essay (4,000 words) on a topic of the course, to be chosen by the course coordinator, which needs to be written in 2 weeks’ time.

All exam dates (exams, re-sits, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

The reading list will be published on Blackboard prior to the first meeting.


Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory. For instructions, see the Registration in uSis page.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Registration 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).


For more information about his course, please contact mw. dr. J.A.C. Vroom.


Compulsory attendance.