The specialisation Archaeology of North-western Europe studies the period of the earliest settlement 800,000 years ago to the Modern Age in the Netherlands and surrounding countries.
All the main themes are addressed: “Out of Africa”, Neanderthals and modern humans, the Neolithic revolution, monuments and grave rituals, complex societies in the Iron Age, the Roman Era and the Early Middle Ages as well as the process of urbanisation.
This programme gives you an overview of the big questions, but also hands-on experience with archaeological material. The lecturers expect a good attitude towards work so that you are well prepared for the lectures and practical exercises and can take part in independent assignments.
In the second year courses, the big questions are central, always related to the critical interpretation of archaeological information. This might include site formation processes, datings and the representativeness of data.
In the third year, the knowledge is applied to resolving concrete archaeological issues. Besides archaeological finds, field drawings, etc., you will also be confronted with the social context of archaeological research and with justifying a suitable fieldwork strategy.
The programme is connected to the research of three chair groups. The group of professor F. Theuws studies the transformation of the Roman world with themes such as frontier societies, grave rituals, trade and identity.
Professor H. Fokkens and his group study late prehistoric cultural landscapes with themes including settlements, grave rituals and depositions.
The group of Professor W. Roebroeks studies human origins with themes such as Homo erectus, Neanderthals/early Homo sapiens, and fire. The thesis subjects are preferably aligned to the study of the supervisors.
Students can take part in various internships in archaeological fieldwork projects:
First-year field school
West-Friesland: excavation of a Bronze Age landscape
Oss: excavation of the cultural landscape from Prehistory to the late Middle Ages
Veluwe: prospecting of grave mound landscapes in a nature reserve
Hungary: excavation of a Bronze Age tell
Les Cottés (France): the interaction between the last Neanderthals and the first modern humans in Europe