Universiteit Leiden

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Louise Olerud

PhD candidate

S.L. Olerud MA
+31 71 527 1603

Louise Olerud is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Archaeology.

More information about Louise Olerud

Office days

Tuesday and Friday


Since September 2021, Louise is a PhD candidate in the NWO-funded VIDI project “The Talking Dead. Reconstructing the transmission of information in Corded Ware and Bell Beaker Societies during the 3rd Millennium BC”, led by dr. Quentin Bourgeois. This research project focuses on the rigid burial rites widely shared throughout Europe during the third millennium BCE and aims to understand these rites better through dynamic network analysis. 

Louise will focus on the northwestern part of the Corded Ware and Bell Beaker distributions (roughly The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and the UK). Specifically, Louise aims to better understand the dynamics behind the apparently changed perception of the human body in this transitional period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. The third millennium BCE is generally associated with the development of individualism as well as binary gender symbolism. Louise will investigate this new personhood and to what extent it is related to the increase in human mobility seen in this period.

Curriculum vitae

Louise Olerud completed her Bachelor (2017) and Research Master (2019) in Archaeology cum laude at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. She specialised in the Late Prehistory of Northwestern Europe. 
Her Bachelor thesis dealt with the temporality of three Corded Ware burial landscapes in The Netherlands, Denmark and Southern Sweden. 
Her Research Master thesis (2019) investigated the notion of binary gender in the Corded Ware period, with Jutland (Denmark) and Bavaria (Gemany) as case studies. She found that the idea of Corded Ware binary gender is largely rooted in andro- and ethnocentric, Western assumptions that have been dominant since the 19th century. Instead, gender would have been more locally variable. The main value expressed in Corded Ware burials seems to have not been gender, but an interplay of supra-regional versus local identities.

During her studies, Louise worked as a student-assistant at the European Prehistory department (2016-2019), post-processing the archaeological fieldwork (coring and test trench excavations) at the barrow alignment of Epe-Niersen. In 2018 she studied abroad for one semester at Aarhus University, Denmark.
After graduation Louise worked as an archaeological advisor at the municipality of Delft (2020-2021).

PhD candidate

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Europese Prehistorie

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A1.06



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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