nl en

Experimental Archaeology



Bachelor year 2.

Admission requirements

Material Studies 1 or similar level of knowledge about material culture studies.


Drawing on archaeological and ethnographic data, Experimental Archaeology focuses on the reconstruction of past technologies, activities, buildings and taphonomic processes.
This course explores the value of experimental archaeology as a research tool for archaeological investigation and its ever growing role in public outreach.

During the practical sessions for this course you will have the opportunity to work with a variety of materials and technologies. You will have to design and conduct an experiment that will be presented orally and in a paper (in pairs).

Course objectives

  • Obtaining hands-on knowledge about how objects are made and used by means of experimental archaeology;

  • Knowledge of and insight in the experimental and analytical methods with which to derive information from artefacts;

  • Basic knowledge of the role of experimental archaeology in scientific research and public outreach;

  • Ability to develop an experiment in cooperation with peers.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Films;

  • Practicals;

  • Excursion.

Course load

  • 14 hours of lectures and presentations (1 ec);

  • 14 hours of practical sessions (1 ec);

  • 140 pages of literature and films to be watched in one’s own time (1 ec);

  • Designing and conducting an experiment and presenting this orally and in an essay of 1,500 words (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • Essay (50%);

  • Exam on the literature and films (50%).

There will be one final result and the average of the parts will be taken as a pass. There will be a retake for the exam. If the essay is a fail, this needs to be compensated by the exam.

All exam dates (exams, re-sits, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA1 examination schedule.

Reading list

  • Outram, A.K. 2008. "Introduction to Experimental Archaeology", in: World Archaeology 40/1, 1-6

  • Recently published articles (to be specified).


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.

  • Start registration for the BA2 seminars:
    Series 1: 10 September 2018, 07:00 hrs
    Series 2: 7 January 2018, 07:00 hrs
    Series 3: 11 March 2018, 07:00 hrs

  • 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. A.L. (Annelou) van Gijn.


Compulsory attendance during lectures, practicals and excursion.