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Archaeology (Research): Prehistoric Farming Communities

The Research Master specialisation in Prehistoric Farming Communities provides in-depth knowledge of and insight into prehistoric farming communities from the Neolithic to the Roman period in North-Western Europe. The study focuses on the ways in which these communities interacted, and how their cosmologies shaped their social, ritual and spatial behaviour. These issues are also discussed in a wider international setting: in close co-operation with the students, workshops are organised with eminent international guests.


Subjects of research:

  • The archaeology of barrow landscapes

  • Bronze and Iron Age settlements

  • Late Neolithic Beaker cultures and material culture studies

These are subjects of research in which students actively participate. Research problems are made the core of research seminars which ideally result in research papers that are written as a joint effort with the students and submitted to a (peer reviewed) journal.


The two-year programme consists of several interactive courses. Students are expected to write papers every week, discuss articles and orally present short research papers, not only to their peers, but preferably also in an international setting (workshops, conferences).

From megalith to Celtic field is an interactive course focusing on several aspects of prehistoric farming communities. The theoretical backgrounds to various ideas, interpretations and assumptions about prehistoric farmers are explored.
Research seminars (one each year): in- depth study of a research problem resulting in a joint research paper.
The biography of monumental landscapes is a seven-day excursion with the focus on research by colleagues and on monumental landscapes (2005 Brittany; 2007 Ireland; 2009: Scotland).
Tutorials and discussion of current issues (bi-weekly)
Workshops are organised around an international guest: students are expected to participate actively with papers and in debates.


Coordinator for the MPhil specialisation in Prehistoric Farming Communities: prof. dr Harry Fokkens, dr David Fontijn.