Universiteit Leiden

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Global Archaeology (MA)

Programme structure

In this unique master’s programme you will first deepen your knowledge on specific areas of the world and then learn to reflect upon this in a global context.

Programme outline

10 ec

Area Specialisation (choose 1 of 3):
Mediterranean and West Asia

20 ec Master's thesis
5 ec Archaeological Theory: How Materials Shaped the World
5 ec The Human Planet: How Globalisation shaped the Human World
20 ec Electives and Focus Area courses

Your career profile, region focus area, and thesis subject determine your specialisation and your eventual area of expertise.

Area Specialisation

For your Area Specialisation, you may pick one area of your choice. Below you will find some courses per area.

Some of the courses per area specialisation

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

The Roman conquest ushered in major changes in society, technology and organisational complexity, as well as altering the nature of people’s relationship with material culture. In this course we examine the life cycle of artefacts, ranging from extraction to final discard.

In the northern provinces in particular, the conquest introduces massive changes in material culture, reflecting not only the increasing demands of the military apparatus, but also changing attitudes to possessions, their use and their disposal on the part of the local population.

In this course we will explore the impact of technology and expanding horizons, the role of consumers in the distribution of goods and the underlying continuity of religious practices in the final discard of particular artefacts.

Key developments in European Prehistory

In this course key developments in Prehistoric Europe will be discussed, taking place between the 7th and the end of the 1st millennium BC. The emphasis is on how Prehistory shaped the modern world.

The focus is on agrarian communities. Themes that may be addressed include the spread of farming in Europe, the rise and history of ritual landscapes, the deep history of migration, Prehistoric religion and cosmology, invention and adaptation of metallurgy, Bronze Age and Iron Age “world systems”, ethnogenesis (Celts, Germans, Scythians), and the legacy of Prehistory in modern Europe.

Neolithisation in the Near East

The Neolithic (ca. 10,000-5,300 BC) is one of the most crucial periods in the history of the Near East, associated with major social, economic and material innovations and important changes in the archaeological record.
It is also a period that has emerged as a major research topic over the past two decades.

In this course you will study the current archaeological views on this period of early village formation.

Archaeology of the Crusades

This course explores various aspects of the ‘crusading phenomenon’ in the Mediterranean and the Near East, ranging from the Norman conquest of Sicily and southern Italy (1000-1130 C.E.) to the fall of Akko in the Holy Land (1291 C.E.), as well as some later long-term developments.

The aim is to address how we can study the Crusades from an archaeological perspective, and what the archaeological data can tell us about the nature of these events, and their impact on society.

Current Issues in the Archaeology of the Americas

Following an introductory class, 6 interrelated aspects of currently emerging work in the archaeology of the Americas will be reviewed over 6 classes. Each academic year the topics of the course are updated.

The themes for the academic year 2021-2022 broach studies and debates on the subjects of location, equity, transience, and disruption, and include work published in majority in the last 5 years.

Complete overview

In the Prospectus you will find a complete overview and full course descriptions of the courses and focus areas Global Archaeology has to offer. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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