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Archaeology of the Mediterranean


Admission requirements

  • World Archaeology 2.2 obtained;

  • This is a seminar with a limited amount of participants (20 students), for Archaeology students exclusively.


This course offers both an overview of the archaeology of the Roman Mediterranean through study of the handbook Classical Archaeology, and an in-depth discussion of key themes in class.
Apart from gaining a basic knowledge of Roman archaeology from an Empire-wide, Mediterranean perspective, this class invites you to form your own opinion about various debates in Roman archaeology.

Each week we focus on a different aspect of the Roman Mediterranean (geography, early Rome, urbanisation, the countryside, the Roman economy, Romanisation), touching upon various and diverse categories of material culture (from pottery to imperial architecture) and discussing different theoretical debates.

You will prepare for each meeting through obligatory reading materials and, sometimes, related preparatory assignments. The meetings will combine discussions of these reading materials with lectures and various active learning assignments.

Course set-up

The course consists of weekly 4-hour sessions, prepared by thematic reading and related assignments. The sessions combine discussion of these readings with lecturing and active learning assignments. In addition, the students independently study the handbook readings.

Course objectives

  • Basic knowledge of the archaeology of the Roman Mediterranean and the most important sites and topics discussed in the literature and lectures;

  • Knowledge of the development, structure and functioning of the Roman Empire;

  • Familiarisation with debates on various aspects of the Roman Mediterranean (history and archaeology of early Rome, the Roman countryside, the Roman economy and Romanisation);

  • Ability to analyse, summarise and critically comment on academic articles on these topics;

  • To enhance skills in academic discussion and writing;

  • Ability to form a critical and well-argued view on the abovementioned debates and ability to present this view to an audience of peers.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and tutorials;

  • Active learning assignments;

  • Autonomous study.

Due to COVID-19 measures in place, and depending on developments in the situation, the mode of instruction may change before or during the course.

Course load

  • 24 hours of seminars (1,5 ec);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ec);

  • Assignments (1,5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Written exam (50%);

  • Assignments (50%).

Following faculty policy, both the assignments and the exam should be at least a 5,0, and a final grade should be least 5.5 to pass. Only the written exam can be retaken.

All exam dates (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA2 examination schedule.
Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Due to COVID-19 measures in place, and depending on developments in the situation, the assessment method may change before or during the course.

Reading list

Alcock, S. & Osborne, R., 2007. Classical Archaeology. Wiley Blackwell.

Per meeting there will be 1 or 2 thematic chapters/papers to read. The reading list will be distributed 2 weeks prior to the start of the course. Make sure you are registered for this Brightspace module in time.


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: 14 September 2020, 07:00 hrs
    Series 2: 11 January 2021, 07:00 hrs
    Series 3: 22 February 2021, 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 his course, please contact dr. T.C.A. (Tymon) de Haas.


Compulsory attendance.