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Landscape Archaeology



Bachelor year 3.

Admission requirements

At least 2 out of 3 courses of the BA2-profile Archaeology of Europe (Early Prehistory / Late Prehistory and Provincial-Roman Archaeology / Medieval Archaeology) obtained.
Recommended: BA2 course Quaternary Geology.


Our contemporary landscapes have a deep history and contain human traces of many periods. The main goal of this course is to learn how to gain knowledge of landscapes through archaeological research. You are required to design and present a research proposal for a (simplified) practical situation, for which an original and unconventional approach is encouraged. Which choices did you make (and which not) and from which perception on an archaeological landscape? And what exactly means the term 'landscape' throughout history?

The course starts with a series of formal (theoretical) lectures about different kind of landscapes from different periods. Based on the students’ presentations, more practical issues are discussed, such as: what is the meaning of a dot on an archaeological distribution map? What is a ‘site’? And an important methodological question: how do you research a landscape? And how are you going to 'communicate' your results to 'the public' who finances your research?

Set-up of the course:

  • 6 (theoretical) formal lectures;

  • 8 interactive meetings with presentations and discussions.
    There are 2 meetings of 2 hours each per week.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the main aspects and definitions in landscape archaeology;

  • Knowledge and applicability of the fundamental (theoretical) approaches within landscape archaeology;

  • Learn to design a research proposal for a chosen research area (a landscape) including a fieldwork strategy based on one's own research goal and questions, and within a limited budget;

  • Ability to translate scientific results to ‘the public’;

  • Ability to present one's results in front of the class;

  • Ability to formulate arguments orally, and in writing;

  • Ability to work in a team.


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

Mode of instruction

(Interactive) lectures.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 12 hours of formal lectures;

  • 16 hours of interactive lectures;

  • 200 pages of literature;

  • Group assignment including presentation and paper (max. 1,800 words).

Assessment method

  • Group presentation (1/3);

  • Paper (1/3);

  • Exam (1/3).

A retake is only possible for the exam and paper, only if the presentation is graded with a 5,0 or higher, and if all other requirements are met.

The retake of the paper consists of rewriting the paper for which a maximum grade of 6,0 will be given.

The assessment deadlines for exams and retakes can be found in the BA3 examination schedule.


The general literature and literature for the different assignments will be announced during the introduction lecture.


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 this course, please contact dr. R. (Richard) Jansen.


Compulsory attendance.