Archaeology: Archaeology of the Americas
Leiden’s interest in the indigenous cultures of the Americas goes back to geographer, linguist and historian Johannes de Laet, who worked with the West Indian Company in the 17th century. Research methods have changed dramatically since those days, and now tend to be characterised by their multidisciplinary and intercultural perspectives.
In this programme, the development of indigenous societies of the Americas is approached from various angles, incorporating methods and techniques used in archaeology, bioarchaeology, archaeometry, history, ethnoarchaeology and cultural anthropology.
Students are offered a wide range of areas and topics, varying from the study of settlement archaeology, human mobility and the exchange of goods and ideas in the Circum-Caribbean region and Central America to worldview, religion, and visual culture in Mexico and the Andean region. Archaeological excavations, surveys and artefact analyses take place on several Caribbean islands (e.g. Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Grenada, Dutch Caribbean islands), Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
Within this specialisation, students can choose between 2 different fields of interest when writing the thesis: the Caribbean & Amazonia, or Mesoamerica & the Andes. Both fields have different thesis tutorials and supervisors.