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World archaeology 1: From early farmers to complex societies in the Near East and Europe


Admission requirements



The lecture series World archaeology gives a chronological overview of the general development of man and society from early man to complex societies.
The book The Human Past is used throughout the course. From this broad basis, accents are applied in the lectures from the Leiden study programme.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the chronological and geographic framework of the development of the first farmers to the more complex societies and their cultural manifestations in the Near East and Europe, as addressed in the lectures and in the book;

  • General knowledge of and insight into technological, social and cultural developments in time per region (in burial rituals, settlements, economic developments, social organisation);

  • Ability to study independently by applying the e-learning structure.


Course schedule details can be found in the propedeuse/first year time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorials.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7 lectures (14 hours);

  • 7 case studies (presentations with questions and discussion);

  • 7 tutorials;

  • around 200 pages of literature.

Assessment method

2 written exams with multiple choice questions.
The assessment grades may be used to compensate each other.

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

Reading list

  • C. Scarre (ed.), The Human Past. World Prehistory & the Development of Human Societies. Thames & Hudson, 3rd edition (2013);

  • Various additional articles.


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

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 this course, please contact mw. dr. J.A. Mol.


Attendance at tutorials is compulsory.