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Material Culture



Bachelor year 2.

Admission requirements

Material Studies obtained.


In this course you will learn how to research and analyse different types of material culture. Firstly, theoretical perspectives on what constitutes material culture will be discussed. Why do archaeologists study material culture, and what does it tell us about the people who created that material culture?
Secondly, you will learn how archaeologists go about their work and which methods they use on different types of material in order to answer these questions.

For this course, you will work with real archaeological material and apply the concepts and techniques learned during the lectures. You will acquire the skills to analyse finds and write a basic technological and morphological report.

Set-up of the course

The day will start with a lecture, followed by a practical.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the module students will acquire:

  • Insight in broad theoretical concepts on material culture;

  • Knowledge of widely used methods in analysing material culture;

  • Ability to identify and analyse the most common archaeological finds from excavations and surveys;

  • Learn to report your analysis on archaeological material in a written report.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Practicals;

  • Assignments.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 6 x 2 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • 5 x 4 hours of practicals (1 ec);

  • 250 pages of literature (2 ec);

  • 1 written assignment (max. 2,000 words) (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • 1 theoretical exam (open questions) (60%);

  • 1 written assignment, report (40%).

Assessment of both the theoretical and practical part after the completion of the course. Students are allowed to retake the theory exam and to re-submit their report in case of a fail.

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

Reading list

Selection of papers to be agreed upon by the lecturers.


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 drs. M. (Martina) Revello Lami.


Compulsory attendance.