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Discovering the concepts of Archaeological Heritage Management


Admission requirements

BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.


A series of lectures will introduce the various aspects of archaeological heritage management, its development from the end of the 18th century, its international treaties and organisations, and its contemporary ethical issues. We will look into themes such as ownership, identity, values, stakeholders, protection, management and exploitation (public archaeology, tourism, etc.).

The course is open to RMA-students. Although participating in the same lectures, their assignments will be different. They will write a different type of essay, in which the topic is studied in more depth, critically reviewed and new directions for research are being formulated.


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Course objectives

  • Insight in the development of heritage management (on a global level, at European level and in the Netherlands);

  • Knowledge of various aspects of international heritage management (such as protecting, managing, sharing and presenting archaeological heritage);

  • Insight in ethical questions and dilemmas of archaeological resource management from a global and international perspective;

  • Insight into the value-based approach to archaeological heritage management, e.g. the diversity of stakeholders, opinions and values, and the role of the archaeologist in these;

  • Insight into current debates in archaeological heritage management.

For RMA-students, in addition to the above:

  • Ability to quickly combine and assess the opinions of others on key themes;

  • Ability to critically review the significance of current research;

  • Ability to report such reviews in a written essay;

  • Ability to formulate innovative new directions of research.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (1 ects);

  • 250 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Essay of 2,000-2,500 words (2 ects).


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

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Group assignment during the course (20%);

  • Individual essay (80%).
    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

At the beginning of the course, students are expected to have read R. Skeates, Debating the Archaeological Heritage. London: Duckworth (2000);

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

  • Additions to the reading list will be handed out during class.


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


For more information about this course, please contact mw. dr. M.H. van den Dries.