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Archaeology of the Crusades


Admission requirements

BA degree in Archaeology, preferably with a focus on Near Eastern/Mediterranean Archaeology or Medieval Archaeology.


This course will explore various aspects of the manifestation of the Crusades in the Mediterranean and in the Near East: ranging from the conquest of Sicily and southern Italy by the Normans (1000-1130 C.E.) to the fall of Akko in the Holy Land (1291 C.E.).
The aim is to address how we can study the Crusades from an archaeological perspective, and what the archaeological data can tell us about the nature of these events.

We will discuss some specific archaeological case studies, among which the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cyprus and Greece. You will be expected to read the relevant literature weekly and take an active part during the course, both in class presentations, discussions and in the writing of short summaries each week.

Course objectives

  • The main objective of this course is to examine the political, religious and cultural changes that took place in the Near East and in the Mediterranean between 1000-1500 C.E.;

  • Obtain knowledge of the key developments in the archaeology of the Crusades;

  • Learn to evaluate what archaeology can add to studies of the Crusades;

  • Learn to critically compare weaknesses and strengths of the presented literature.


Course schedule details can be found in the MA and MSc time schedule.

Mode of instruction

The course starts with an introduction by the lecturer. The successive meetings will include a short presentation by students on themes which will be explored during the seminar.
Students will be asked to read the relevant literature prior to each meeting, and submit weekly short summaries one day before class.

In the first part of the meeting the (guest) lecturer will present further background to the theme of the class. Subsequently students will give short presentations, followed by a group discussion.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7 x 2 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • Assignments and presentation (2 ec);

  • Essay (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • Active participation in the class discussions, reading of assigned literature and submission of short summaries each week (10%);

  • Presentation (40%);

  • Final essay of 3,000 words (50%).

All essays must be submitted through Turnitin/SafeAssign, and only on-time Turnitin/SafeAssign submissions count. If a student fails the course, there is an opportunity for a retake. A retake is only possible for the final essay and is only allowed if all other requirements have been met, and a serious and complete first final essay has been submitted. This will happen in the form of a single longer essay (4,000 words) on a topic of the course, to be chosen by the course coordinator, which needs to be written in 2 weeks’ time.

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

Reading list

The reading list will be distributed via BlackBoard, 2 weeks prior to the first meeting.


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. J.A.C. (Joanita) Vroom.


Compulsory attendance.