Universiteit Leiden

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Archaeology (BA)

Archaeology in Leiden encompasses the study of societies and cultures from the past, aiming to reconstruct and revive them. Make a meaningful contribution to resolving present-day societal issues such as migration, globalisation and climate change, using your interest in the past.

Why Rory Granleese chose Archaeology

First-year Archaeology student

Why Rory Granleese chose Archaeology

I grew up in Ireland, which is a very interesting place in terms of archaeology. Leiden was the only university to offer an international bachelor for the subject, and that was very appealing to me. I think it provides more opportunity, considering that English is the lingua franca of the Western world, and very popular in the field of archaeology.

What will you discover with Prof. dr. Jan Kolen?

Vice-Dean Education Archaeology

What will you discover with Prof. dr.  Jan Kolen?

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

Archaeology: shine new light on the big issues of today

As an archaeologist you collect an enormous amount of valuable information that can shine new light on the big issues society faces today.

In the bachelor’s programme in Archaeology at Leiden University, you study early examples of globalisation and mass migration. You explore growing social inequality through time and its effect on different groups in society. You deliberate over when humans first began significantly to affect nature 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 identity.

Excavated by bachelor-students this silver bowl decorated with gold-plated representations of animals and plants and inlaid with semi-precious stones. The discovery suggests the existence of an elite with a wide international network in Oegstgeest.

Archaeology at Leiden University

  • ranks in the top ten worldwide Archaeology Faculties in the QS World University Ranking
  • has a strong, global emphasis, with wide networks in international research
  • offers excellent facilities in the heart of Leiden’s academic community
  • delivers English language teaching by enthusiastic lecturers
  • provides hands-on excavation experience under the guidance of experts
  • offers high-quality practical courses in state-of-the-art laboratories
  • lets you as a student participate in the latest research

Timelapse of the Udhruh archaeological excavation, Jordan

The right choice for you?

In archaeology, theories are put into practice, combining academics with practical work.

Archaeology at Leiden University is the programme for you if:

  • you are practical by nature, but understand that archaeological research is not possible without a solid theoretical basis
  • you are a creative thinker and you are able to apply this skill to answer challenging archaeological questions
  • you are able to combine knowledge of various disciplines and to apply this in practice
  • you are interested in the history of humans and their environment
  • you consider it important to be able to follow your own path in your studies
  • you are seeking the opportunity to gain international experience both in terms of your contacts with students and academic staff, by doing fieldwork or internships abroad.