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Introduction

The study of our past can actually help us understand and resolve current societal issues. The main focus of the World Archaeology specialisation is the study of dynamics in societies: adaptation, resilience and resistance in processes of long- and short-term changes.

The MA World Archaeology consists of 6 focus areas (also see the tabs above):
* Palaeolithic Archaeology
* Prehistory of Europe
* Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Middle Ages and Modern Period
* Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology
* Archaeology of the Near East
* Archaeology of the Americas

Palaeolithic

Palaeolithic Archaeology

Leiden University’s Human Origins group has been running large-scale excavations at Neumark-Nord 2 (Germany), a unique Middle Palaeolithic site with excellent preservation of faunal and lithic material in fine-grained lake deposits, dating to about 125,000 years ago. Currently, excavations focus on the site of Les Cottés (France), which has a unique record of the archaeology of both the last Neanderthals and the earliest modern humans.

As a student, you get a chance to work on some of the material from these sites as well as their contexts. Cooperation with the scientists involved provides you with the opportunity to learn how archaeologists study the chronology, environment, and the lithic and faunal materials at archaeological sites from our deep past.

An important research focus is the prehistory of early fire usage, in which graduate students can participate with their thesis research. Staff as well as student members of our research group also participate in new studies of the Eugène Dubois collection, which includes the type fossil of Homo erectus, at Naturalis (Museum of Natural History) in Leiden. The ongoing multidisciplinary study of this important collection yields fascinating topics for graduate student research. We also started new fieldwork at the site of Trinil, going back to the sections there, more than a century after Dubois returned from Java.

Staff
Prof. dr. J.W.M. (Wil) Roebroeks
Prof. dr. M.A. (Marie) Soressi

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Archaeological Theory (MA) 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master Thesis Archaeology and Thesis Tutorial 20

Focus area 1: Palaeolithic Archaeology

Palaeolithic Europe 5
Archaeology of the Late Neanderthals and First Modern Humans 5

Focus area 2

Archaeology: Focus area 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Prehistory

Prehistory of Europe

Prehistory of Europe focuses on the archaeology of Prehistoric farming communities, especially on the ways in which people constructed their living environment in relation to other communities, their ancestors, the supernatural and of course the geographical landscape. To this end archaeological data are studied, ranging from the Neolithic to the Iron Age.

The programme focuses on a number of concepts using actual data, covering issues such as ancestral landscapes, burial analysis, exchange, world systems and the biography of the landscape. The courses are highly dependent on interaction with the students, who are challenged to develop their own informed opinion on these topics by writing papers, participating in discussions, and conducting research.
The programme consists of intensive courses, generally with guest lecturers. The courses focus on the discussion of data, their interpretations and theoretical backgrounds. You will learn to acknowledge that the nature of these data is often more complex than you assumed, and consequently all the more interesting. You will be stimulated to develop an independent, but well-argued opinion on current issues. The subjects of the courses revolve around ongoing research and are generally organised in close co-operation with PhD-students.

Staff
Prof. dr. H. (Harry) Fokkens
Dr. M.H.G. (Maikel) Kuijpers
Dr. C. (Catalin) Popa

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Archaeological Theory (MA) 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master Thesis Archaeology and Thesis Tutorial 20

Focus area 1: Prehistory of Europe

Key Developments in European Prehistory 5
Disruptive Innovations in European Prehistory 5

Focus area 2

Archaeology: Focus area 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Roman Provinces

Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Middle Ages and Modern Period

The conquest by Rome brought profound changes to Europe. Unprecedented infrastructural works such as roads and harbours were created, towns sprang up, a ribbon of fortresses was laid out along the frontiers. Villas were introduced in the countryside.
After the collapse of the Roman state, the foundations for Europe as we know it today were laid down in the Middle Ages and Modern Period.

In the courses offered, various aspects of the current debate on Roman frontiers and frontier communities will be investigated both in the West and the East. Major processes, such as religious transformation (Christianisation), urbanisation, social differentiation and the rise of the market economy determine the structures and dynamics of society in the Middle Ages and the Modern Period.
In the courses, with an accent on economy and urbanisation, we will follow the transformation from the ‘Dark Ages’ to the Industrial Revolution.

Staff
Dr. ir. M.J. (Mark) Driessen
Dr. R.M.R. (Roos) van Oosten

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Archaeological Theory (MA) 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master Thesis Archaeology and Thesis Tutorial 20

Focus area 1: Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Middle Ages and Modern Period

Current Issues in the Archaeology of the Frontier Regions of the Roman Empire 5
Urban Archaeology 5

Focus area 2

Archaeology: Focus area 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Classical

Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology

This specialisation 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 the students with the most important theoretical and other debates and exciting new fieldwork from this vibrant field, but will also introduce them to the scholars, including international scholars involved in the field.

Staff
Prof. dr. M.J. (Miguel John) Versluys
Dr. T.C.A. (Tymon) de Haas

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Archaeological Theory (MA) 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master Thesis Archaeology and Thesis Tutorial 20

Focus area 1: Classical and Mediterranean archaeology

The Archaeology of Roman Imperialism in the Western Mediterranean 5
Diversities of Doing Greek: ‘Hellenisation’ and ‘Hellenism’ in Ancient Eurasia 5

Focus area 2

Archaeology: Focus area 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Near East

Archaeology of the Near East

The Near East is a region of enormous culture-historical significance, and has formed a cradle of civilisation from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period. 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 programme 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 and urbanisation are central to this specialisation. In this way research is explicitly linked with the teaching curriculum.

The Near Eastern department 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, such as the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) and the National Museum of Antiquities.

Staff
Prof. dr. P.M.M.G. (Peter) Akkermans
Dr. B.S. (Bleda) Düring

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Archaeological Theory (MA) 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master Thesis Archaeology and Thesis Tutorial 20

Focus area 1: Archaeology of the Near East

Neolithisation in the Near East 5
Urban Societies in the Ancient Near East 5

Focus area 2

Archaeology: Focus area 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10

Americas

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 colonial encounters, settlement archaeology, human mobility and the exchange of goods and ideas in the Circum-Caribbean region and Central America to worldview, religion, identity and visual culture in the Caribbean, Central America , Mexico and the Andean region.
Archaeological excavations, surveys and artefact analyses take place in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Grenada, St. Vincent, the Dutch Caribbean islands, Nicaragua, the Central Andes and Venezuela and its offshore islands.Students are welcome to participate.

Staff
Dr. A.T. (Andrzej) Antczak
Dr. L.S. (Lewis) Borck

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

General part

Archaeological Theory (MA) 5
Fieldwork / Internship 5
Master Thesis Archaeology and Thesis Tutorial 20

Focus area 1: Archaeology of the Americas

Mobility and Exchange in the Americas Across 1492 5
Social Complexity and Inequality in the Americas 5

Focus area 2

Archaeology: Focus area 2 10

Electives

Elective courses 10