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Material Studies in Dutch Archaeology



Bachelor year 3.

Admission requirements

World Archaeology 1 and World Archaeology 3 obtained.


The determination of material culture is essential for most archaeological research. This course deals with the most commonly found archaeological find materials in Dutch archaeology. In 4 formal lectures the material culture of the major archaeological periods is discussed, from handaxe to bartmann jug, and placed within a (North-Western) European context.

During the practical sessions, flint from the Palaeolithic and ceramic from the Early Neolithic until the Modern era are analysed, described and drawn (sometimes photographed) according to modern scientific standards. The focus lies on the recognition of the most common types of flint and ceramic, and the systematic description of these artefacts.

This course can be followed both in the BA2 and BA3 years. If you have already taken the course in the BA2, the assignments for the BA3 will be different.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of and the ability to distinguish and identify the main types of material culture in Dutch archaeology ranging from the Early Prehistory until the 17th century;

  • Knowledge and skills necessary for analysing, describing and drawing archaeological finds, especially flint and ceramics;

  • Knowledge about the reason why to study material culture;

  • Ability to work in a team.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Formal lectures;

  • Practical sessions in groups of 2, by means of assignments;

  • Autonomous study to complete the assignments.

Course load

  • 4 hours of formal lectures and 24 hours of practicals under supervision (1 ec);

  • 280 pages of literature (1 ec);

  • 50 hours of self-study resulting in 4 small assignments (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • 4 small basic reports (one for each assignment). Each paper forms 25% of the final grade. Assignments are graded per group;

  • All assignments must be passed to pass the whole course.

A retake is only possible if all requirements including attendance and handing in the assignments in time have been met.
A retake consists of rewriting the report(s), but only to a maximum grade of 6,0.

All exam dates (exams, re-sits, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA3 examination schedule.

Reading list

The reading list will be announced on BlackBoard.
An important part of the literature, essential for making the assignments, is in Dutch!


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

  • The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, students are not required to do this in uSis.


For more information about his course, please contact drs. R. (Richard) Jansen


Compulsory attendance.