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Medieval archaeology


Admission requirements

World archaeology 3 obtained.


This course deals with the archaeology of the Middle Ages and the Modern period (500-1900) in Europe, with a focus on North-Western Europe.
During the lectures major processes that shaped medieval Europe are discussed: fragmentation of states, Christianisation, and urbanisation. Other topics include the recent insights in burial archaeology, the development of the core of Charlemagne’s kingdom, urban topography and sanitation management.

Moreover we will present the archaeology of several forms of settlement during this time frame. The topic will be illustrated by a short excursion.
The course includes a practical assignment, in which a dataset has to be analysed critically, using your knowledge of medieval archaeology and archaeological datasets.

Course objectives

Knowledge of:

  • Basic aspects such as the chronology and related terminology of the Middle Ages and the Modern Period;

  • Major processes of the Middle Ages and Modern Period;

  • Basic aspects of the Christianisation;

  • Basic aspects of urbanisation;

  • Important archaeological sites;

  • The type of archaeological data, including its restrictions and possibilities.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 2 time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 20 hours of lectures;

  • 4 hours of excursion;

  • 335 pages of literature;

  • 1 assignment (1,500-1,800 words).

Assessment method

  • Written exam (75%);

  • Assignment (25%).

The assignment has to be handed in before the deadline through Turnitin. Both (written exam and assignment) need to be passed (no internal compensation). You can only do resits of failed parts of the exam. If you have failed a resit of a part of the exam, passes already obtained for the other parts will be lost and you will have to do the whole exam next year.
The assignment deadline will be communicated during the first class and through BlackBoard.

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

Reading list

Chapters, Introduction (pp.1-12), 1 (pp. 15-49), 3 (pp. 86-126), 4 (pp. 129-153), 9 (pp. 197-324), 10 (pp. 325-356), Epilogue (pp. 421-427) from:

  • W. Blockmans & P. Hoppenbrouwers, Introduction to Medieval Europe 300-1500, London/New York (2014). (€ 45) Mind the edition: 2nd edition (Routledge).

  • Additional reading to be announced on BlackBoard.


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 drs. E.J. Bult.