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Archaeology: Archaeology and Anthropology of the Americas

This MA specialisation offers 2 foci, see the tabs below:

  • Mesoamerica and the Andes
  • Caribbean and Amazonia

Mesoamerica and the Andes

The ancient civilisations of Middle America and South America left behind an impressive array of archaeological remains, monuments, visual culture, written texts, oral traditions, and many other manifestations of extraordinary heritage.
This focus deals with the social practices and religious worldviews of indigenous cultures in different parts of Mesoamerica and the Andes. It centers on the archaeological interpretation of material culture, the study of visual culture and scripts, as well as on the historical development and social organisation of ancient societies in these regions.
The analysis of archaeological data is not only connected to the study of colonial chronicles and archival documents, but also enriched with ethnographic fieldwork to document the often endangered heritage of indigenous communities.

Particular research areas include:

  • Study of worldview, religion, and visual culture in Mexico
  • Archaeological study of pre-Hispanic monumental ceremonial sites in Nicaragua
  • Water systems and management in southern Mexico
  • Study of ceramic production, distribution and use through archaeology, colonial sources and present social organisation in the Andean region

Staff:
Dr. Araceli Rojas
Dr. Gabriel Ramón Joffre
Dr. Marlena Antczak
Dr. Jimmy Mans

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

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

Focus 1: Mesoamerica and the Andes

Archaeology and art in the Americas 5
Ethnoarchaeology 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Caribbean and Amazonia

In Leiden, the interest in the Native American world goes back to the geographer-linguist-historian Johannes de Laet, who worked with the West Indian Company in the 17th century.
At present, research continues to be very much interdisciplinary. An intensive and broad programme of archaeological excavations, surveys and artefact analysis takes place in the Caribbean (e.g. Saba, St. Eustatius, Curaçao, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and other islands), with a thematic focus on settlement archaeology, human mobility and the exchange of goods and ideas, as well as on shamanic practices and funerary rituals.

The multidisciplinary perspective includes archaeology, biological anthropology, archaeometry, physical anthropology, ethnohistory and ethnoarchaeology, and involves modern and novel scientific techniques, as well as the documentation and analysis of contemporary material culture and worldview in the Circum-Caribbean and Amazonian region.

Staff:
Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman
Dr. Marlena Antczak

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

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

Focus 1: Caribbean and Amazonia

Mobility and exchange 5
Colonial encounters 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10