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Medieval archaeology


Admission requirements

World archaeology 3 obtained.


This course deals with the archaeology of the Middle Ages (500-1900) in Europe with special attention to North-Western Europe. During the lectures major processes that shaped medieval Europe are discussed: Christianisation, urbanisation and economic development.

Other topics include the recent insights in burial archaeology, the development of the core of Charlemagne’s kingdom in the Meuse Valley, Dorestat and emporia, early-medieval settlement, churches and burial in the central Middle Ages, Vikings, urban topography and sanitation management in towns. There will be a short excursion.

The course includes a practical assignment, in which a dataset has to be analysed critically, using your knowledge on medieval archaeology and archaeological datasets.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of chronology of the Middle Ages and the Modern Period;

  • Knowledge of major processes of the Middle Ages, including:

    • Aspects of Christianisation
    • Aspects of urbanisation
    • Important types of archaeological sites (rural settlements, towns, graveyards, emporia)
  • Ability to critically analyse an archaeological dataset;

  • Development of writing skills.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA2 time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 20 hours of lectures (1.5 ec);

  • 4 hours of excursion (0.5 ec);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ec);

  • 1 assignment (1,500-1,800 words) (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • Writing assignment (25%);

  • Exam with open questions (75%);

The assignment has to be handed through Turnitin.
Compensation between the grades is not allowed.

A retake is allowed for both the assignment and the written exam.

All exam dates (exams, re-sits, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA2 examination schedule.

Reading list

Chapters from:

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

Chapters from:

  • B. Ayers, 2016: The German Ocean. Medieval Europe around the North Sea, Sheffield/Bristol: Equinox. (Specific chapters will be indicated in the detailed programme of the course);

  • Additional reading to be announced through BlackBoard.


Registration for the course or the exam is not required.

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 prof. dr. F.C.W.J. Theuws.