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Heritage and Environment



Bachelor year 2.

Admission requirements

This seminar is open to BA2 students in the BA track World Archaeology.


This course focuses on the long-term histories and changing heritage of human living space from Prehistory up to the present, exploring the ways in which humans create the environment and the environment creates humans.

Topics to be explored are new theories about the relationships between nature and culture, human agency and materiality, global interactions and local engagement, and engages questions of cultural transmission and future design.
We will study examples from indigenous contexts where the environment is conceived as having a form of agency, that is, as an entity that participates actively in the construction of social life.

Exploring heritage in the context of the environment requires novel theoretical, methodological and conceptual approaches as well as instruments that acknowledge the inseparability of natural and cultural heritage, the interconnection of spatial and conceptual aspects of heritage, and the importance of water-related heritage for the future.

Set-up of the course:
Introduction, lecture, tutorial, concluded with individual work/autonomous study.

Course objectives

  • To familiarise students with the definitions and the limitations of concepts such as “Nature”, “Place”, “Territory”, “Landscape” and “Environment”;

  • To create awareness of the inter-connection between heritage structures and environmental factors;

  • To reflect upon the different and multi-disciplinary approaches needed to make sense of the connections between humans and the environment, combining insights, concepts and research methods from history and archaeology, geography and the social sciences.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Tutorials;

  • Group discussions.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 12 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • 12 hours of tutorials/seminars (1 ec);

  • 200 pages of literature (1.5 ec);

  • Assignments (1.5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Assignments during the course (60%);

  • Final exam (40%).

There will be 1 final result. A pass of the average grade is sufficient. A retake is only possible for the final exam, not the assignments.

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

Reading list

To be announced at the start of the course.


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 dr. G.D.J. (Genner) Llanes Ortiz.


Compulsory attendance.