Archaeology (Research): Prehistoric Farming Communities in North-Western Europe
Prehistoric Farming Communities focuses on the later prehistory in North-Western Europe, especially on communities bordering the North Sea (Scandinavia, the Low Countries, France, Great Britain and Ireland).
Three researchers work together and bring in their own specific interests. Prof. Fokkens works on Beaker Cultures and settlements of the Bronze and Iron Ages, prof. Sørensen (Cambridge and Leiden) brings in her work on cultural identity, and dr. Fontijn specialises in burial ritual and (selective) deposition.
The challenge is to bring these ideas together to develop a detailed but coherent view of past communities. Theory is important, but we always work with data and try to approach these issues from different angles. This will be achieved by means of research seminars, written assignments, presentations, participation in fieldschools and ongoing research projects.
Students are expected to ‘think outside the box’. You will be challenged to develop your own ideas, and never to blindly follow the well-trodden path. Examples of questions that we will raise are: how did past communities construct their identity in relation to other communities, for instance through burial rituals, but also through deposition practices? What were important aspects of Bronze Age and Iron Age cosmologies? Are the dominant views on the social structure of farming communities challengeable? How was movement of people and goods around Europe possible?
Prof. dr. Harry Fokkens