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Archaeology: Archaeological Heritage and Museum Studies

This MA specialisation offers 3 foci, see the tabs below:

  • Heritage Management in a World Context
  • Museum Studies
  • Field Archaeology

Field Archaeology

After graduating, many Archaeology alumni start their careers in field archaeology, in some cases commercial field archaeology. The collection of data ‘in the field’ literally forms the essence of all archaeological research. It is therefore essential to have the skills necessary to plan, execute, and elaborate fieldwork.

Field archaeology teaches you how desk-based research, various kinds of prospective methods, excavations and elaborations are planned and carried out; not only in theory, but also in practice. The courses aim to be of relevance anywhere in the world, from Palaeolithic flint scatters to urban centres, from Near Eastern tells to pre-Columbian settlements in the Caribbean, and the Dutch coast.
The various periods and research objects, differing per country/region, have different – in some cases potential – research goals and raise questions that can only be answered by using the proper field methods, including innovative methods.

Field archaeology educates you in framing clear and meaningful research questions and teaches you how to translate these questions into adequate fieldwork strategies, how to plan and conduct fieldwork, including elaboration, and how to work in a team.

Please note: Field Archaeology can only be chosen as a second focus; not as a first focus in which you write your thesis.

Staff: drs. Richard Jansen, prof. dr. Harry Fokkens.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Methods and theory 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master thesis archaeology 20
Master thesis tutorial 0

Focus 1: Field Archaeology

Prospective field archaeology 5
Research strategies 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Museum Studies

This focus offers you the opportunity to explore a range of different approaches and issues in cultural politics and cultural theory as relevant to modern museum practices. Museum Studies in Leiden is especially attractive because of the long-standing traditions in academic and museum work.

Three large national museums (the Museum of Antiquities, the Museum of National History, and the Museum of Ethnology) were founded in Leiden at the beginning of the 19th century. Museum practices and academic research have always been closely related. Many research programmes involve both researchers from the university as well as researchers from the Leiden museums.
In addition, these museums have been more and more involved in ethical issues concerning ownership and mobility of collections and politics of museums and collecting. The unique combination of practical experience and high-quality academic research offers you a dynamic, contemporary environment in a 200-year tradition.

Staff: prof. dr. Ruurd Halbertsma, prof. dr. Pieter ter Keurs, dr. Laura van Broekhoven, dr. Mariana Françozo.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Methods and theory 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master thesis archaeology 20
Master thesis tutorial 0

Focus 1: Museum Studies

Museum history 5
Critical museology 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Heritage Management in a World Context

In this focus you will trace the roots and development of archaeological heritage management, on land and under water. You will learn about current and ethical issues and you will experience some of these in daily practice. Attention will be paid to international treaties and organisations and issues such as ownership, values, stakeholders, repatriation, looting, and commercial archaeology.

Contemporary dilemmas of archaeological heritage management will also be addressed in depth. They relate to subjects such as public archaeology, site management, and heritage protection in conflict zones. You will meet challenging guest lecturers, with whom you can discuss the issues and dilemmas that heritage managers face. Working with professional heritage managers will give you the ideal opportunity to enhance your network.

Staff: dr. Monique van den Dries, prof. dr. Willem Willems.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Methods and theory 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master thesis archaeology 20
Master thesis tutorial 0

Focus 1: Heritage Management in a World Context

Discovering the concepts of Archaeological Heritage Management 5
Exploring the dilemmas of Archaeological Heritage Management 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10