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Research Seminar: The Transformation of the Roman World 2


Admission requirements

Admission to the RMA Archaeology programme.


The research seminar for the* Tranformation of the Roman World* research master deals with a different topic each year. In the past years we focused on the import of exotic objects in northern Merovingian Gaul and the analysis of ‘privileged (rich) burials’ and the scientific research of glass vessels and pottery.

The analysis of material culture remains an important element in the study of economic transformations and exchange systems in Late Roman and Early medieval times. Various types of material provide their own insights into these transformations and they do not necessarily match.
This year we will focus (in relation to the participating students' preferences) on specific categories of (exotic) material culture. Again we will look at these materials from different perspectives (archaeological and scientific).

The research seminar will also be related to the new ERC Advanced project ‘Rural Riches’ to which you are expected to contribute.
Guest lectures will deal with specific topics. Excursions are part of the course.

Course objectives

The course will contribute to the qualifications of a research master as formulated by the Faculty of Archaeology (see the document provided on BlackBoard). More specifically this course contributes to domains A1 and A2, B1, C2, C3, E1-E8.
The main course objectives are:

  • Developing the ability of critical assessment of current research on the topic;

  • Expanding on the knowledge of material culture of the late Roman and early medieval periods;

  • Developing theoretical knowledge related to the analysis of production and exchange;

  • Developing skills in argumentation and reasoning;

  • Developing skills in presentation of research (writing and presentation);

  • Developing teamwork skills.


Course schedule details can be found in the RMA and RMSc time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Tutorial, in which the results of group members will be presented and discussed. There will also be staff presentations on specific topics.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • Classes, workshops, laboratory work (5 ec);

  • Literature (3 ec);

  • Assignments (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • Essay and deliverables (essay, databases, reports etc.) (80%);

  • Participation (20 %).

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the RMA and RMSc examination schedule.

Reading list

A reading list will be distributed during the meetings.


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 prof. dr. F.C.W.J. (Frans) Theuws.