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Archaeology: Archaeology of the Mediterranean and Near East

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

  • The Near East
  • Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology

The Near East

The Near East constitutes a region of enormous culture-historical significance, as well as a cradle of civilisation from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period. Various key developments, such as the origins of farming and sedentary life, and the emergence of complex urbanised societies and writing, occurred first in this region and spread subsequently.

In this focus you will learn how to investigate such key developments using primary archaeological data. Understanding how data are obtained, being able to contextualise these in specific local culture-historical contexts, and translating the data to observations relevant for the study of processes such as neolithisation, urbanisation, and imperialisation are central to this focus. In this way research is explicitly linked with the teaching curriculum.

The Near Eastern section has considerable expertise on Neolithic Syria and Anatolia, reconstructing ecological and agricultural practices, architectural analysis and the study of society, survey methodologies, the investigation of complex societies of the Bronze Age and Iron Age Near East, and Byzantine archaeology.

Leiden University provides rich resources for students of the Archaeology of the ancient Near East. Amongst these are the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO), hosting one of the best libraries in the world for the field, as well as renowned Egyptology and Assyriology sections. The National Museum of Antiquities is important both for its Near Eastern collections and its research in the region.

Staff:
Prof. dr. Peter Akkermans
Dr. Bleda Düring
Prof. dr. René Cappers
Dr. Olivier Nieuwenhuijse
Dr. Joanita Vroom

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: The Near East

Neolithisation in the Near East 5
The archaeology of empires in the Near East 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology

This focus is suitable for graduates in Archaeology, Ancient History and Classics, as well as for those qualified in History and Anthropology. Courses are closely related to the two central themes of the department: the archaeology of town and country in the Mediterranean region, and the archaeology of culture contact in the (wider) Mediterranean.

Both themes deal with issues ranging from the Bronze Age up to the Middle Ages and an interdisciplinary approach is taken to the subjects of study. Different aspects of these themes will be addressed each year, always aligned with contemporary research carried out by the various staff members and their research groups. A course in current debates in Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology will not only confront you with the most important theoretical and other debates and exciting fieldwork from this vibrant field, but will also introduce you to the scholars, including international scholars involved in the field.

Staff:
Dr. Miguel John Versluys
Dr. Tesse Stek

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: Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology

Debates in Classical and Mediterranean archaeology 5
Material histories: The impact of things on human thought, society and evolution 5

Focus 2

Focus 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10