nl en


Archaeology is an exciting discipline, in which you combine very different skills and fields of knowledge.
You venture out into the world to discover, study and interpret traces of past societies in the landscape, but you also work with both your head and hands in the classroom, in the laboratory, and at your desk, applying academic theories and analysing archaeological materials.

You often have to interpret scanty information, and fill in the gaps by thinking like an anthropologist, even if you are reconstructing life in societies we can no longer see. Where possible, you use historical sources, like a historian, but you also explore whether you can use high-tech methods from the natural sciences. Archaeology can therefore always be found at the interfaces between history and the social and natural sciences.
The field of archaeology itself encompasses the deep and even deepest history of humans, human societies and our intervention in nature.

As an archaeologist you also collect a large amount of valuable information that can shine new light on the big issues society faces today. You study early examples of globalisation and mass migration, following them over the centuries.
You study examples of growing social inequality and its effects on different groups in society. You deliberate over when humans first began to affect nature significantly and the long-term consequences of this, even for the population of today's world.
You study how different societies and cultures view their cultural and natural heritage, and how important this heritage can be to their identities.

This is what makes Archaeology the programme for people of all ages who wish to combine a particular fascination with the past with a broad general interest.

BA year 1

The first year of World Archaeology consists of mostly introductory subjects and lectures on the basic knowledge and general skills that every archaeologist needs.
You will learn about the development of archaeology as a science and you will discover precisely what the most important archaeological concepts mean. Also, you will get to know the research areas offered in Leiden archaeology.
Fieldwork is part of the programme as well. This is when you will learn what an excavation really involves, and you will put what you learn into practice.
You will also learn more about heritage and archaeological policies, and how to translate the data and finds from excavations to appeal to a wider audience.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Past and Future 5
Introduction to Heritage Studies 10
World Archaeology 1 5
World Archaeology 2 5
World Archaeology 3 5
Material Studies 5
Landscape Dynamics 1 5
Landscape Dynamics 2 5
Field Techniques 10
Field School 1 5

BA year 2

Bachelor year 2 consists of the following components:

A) Compulsory courses (45 ec).

B) Seminars (15 ec).
Choose one seminar from each series.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

A) Compulsory courses

Deep History 5
Complex Societies 5
Imperial Powers, Global Cultures 5
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 5
Bioarchaeology 5
Landscape Archaeology Projects 5
Material Culture 5
Field School 2 10

B) Choose 1 seminar from each series:

Series 1: October - December

Archaeology of the Mediterranean 5
Byzantine Archaeology 5
Dutch Prehistory in a European Context 5
Environmental History of the Near East 5
Medieval Lowlands 5
The Prehistory of Anatolia and Cyprus 5

Series 2: February - April

Archaeology of the Americas 5
Maritime Archaeology, Culture and Landscapes: Research, Protection, and their Role in Identity (Building) 5
Palaeolithic Archaeology 5
The Archaeology of the Ancient Silk Roads 5
The Archaeology of the Greek Mediterranean 5
The Roman Frontier 5

Series 3: April - May

Archaeological Prospection in the Netherlands 5
Botany 5
Osteology 5
Predictive Modelling 5
Practical Introduction to Collection Formation, Classification and Exhibition-making 5
Zoology 5

BA year 3

Bachelor year 3 consists of the following components:

A) Compulsory courses (30 ec)

B) Choose a minor (Dutch or English) at Leiden University, at another Dutch university, or spend a semester abroad.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

A) Compulsory courses

Archaeological Theory (BA3) 5
Designing Archaeological Research 5
Science Communication: Archaeology in the 21st century 5
Internship BA3 5
Thesis BA3 10

B) Spend 30 ec abroad, or on a minor outside Archaeology