Arjan Louwen is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Archaeology
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
Land owns/owes People
In northwest Europe, the last millennium BC marks a period of significant changes in the relationship between people and the land they live in. Where at the dawn of the Bronze age the landscape practically still is “borderless,” at the time the Romans arrive the landscape is already largely parceled up by field systems, ditches, fences and earthen walls. It seems that, especially in the last millennium BC, a certain sense of belonging to the land was gradually replaced by a mindset whereby taking possession of the land became increasingly more important. Which possible social and/or environmental processes could have fueled such significant changes in the way in which people perceived and organized the world around them? And how do these changes reflect on modern perceptions about land and ownership?
This last decade has witnessed a rapid development in remote sensing techniques such as LiDAR, electric resistivity and geomagnetic survey techniques that together reveal ever bigger portions of the late prehistoric landscape. Combining these digital datasets with the archaeological data collected from recent large scale excavations makes it possible to study the late prehistoric landscape on a scale as never before. These hundreds of hectares of newly discovered portions of the past landscape however also challenge modern policies regarding heritage management. Therefore, this research not only aims to study the changing social dimensions of the late prehistoric landscape, but also to develop new strategies in preserving these last fragile remnants of the prehistoric landscape for future generations.
Arjan teaches courses in landscape archaeology and applied archaeology and is reponsible for organising and facilitating Field Schools and internships.
Arjan Louwen (1986) studied ‘Prehistory of Northwest Europe’ at Leiden University. After graduation in 2010, Arjan has worked alternatingly in commercial archaeology (Archol bv. Leiden) and for Leiden University as a field archaeologist. Since 2012 he has worked full-time at Leiden University, first as a teacher and field director, later as PhD-student. His PhD-research revolved around the funerary practices associated with the urnfields in the Lower-Rhine-Basin and the complex relationship that existed at the time between people, objects and place.
During his time as a PhD-candidate, he taught courses in Landscape Archaeology and directed multiple Field Schools. Arjan is currently still working at Leiden University as assistant professor in applied archaeology.
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