Universiteit Leiden

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Maikel Kuijpers

Guest researcher

Name
Dr. M.H.G. Kuijpers
Telephone
+31 71 527 2727
E-mail
m.h.g.kuijpers@arch.leidenuniv.nl

Maikel Kuijpers is Assistant Professor in European Prehistory at the Faculty of Archaeology. Though trained as an archaeologist, his work blurs the boundaries between the history of knowledge, anthropology, sociology, and archaeology.

More information about Maikel Kuijpers

Research

Maikel Kuijpers is Assistant Professor in European Prehistory at the Faculty of Archaeology. Though trained as an archaeologist, his work blurs the boundaries between the history of knowledge, anthropology, sociology, and archaeology.

His archaeological specialisation is the Bronze Age, specifically metalworking. From this, over the course of 10 years of academic work, he developed a broad interest in craftsmanship, skill, and cognition. What is knowledge, how is it produced, and why is it valuable?

Curriculum Vitae

Maikel graduated at Leiden University in 2008 following the Research Master track together with a minor at the Art Academy in Den Hague. His RMa thesis Bronze Age metalworking in the Netherlands was awarded with the W.A. van Es Prize for Dutch Archaeology. In 2009 Maikel secured a PhD position at the University of Cambridge as part of a Marie Curie Innovative Training Network: Forging Identities: the mobility of culture in the Bronze Age. The results of his PhD were published with Routledge: An Archaeology of Skill. In 2012 he became an affiliated researched in the CinBa project (Creativity and Craft in the Middle and Late Bronze Age).  Maikel successfully defended his dissertation in 2014, after which he returned to Leiden. 

He is currently also research co-ordinator for the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Global Heritage and a post-doc researcher in the Economies of Destruction project. Here, his main concerns are the (mass)production and deposition of rings, ribs, and axes in the Early Bronze Age, which are potential early forms of money.

Archaeology is a way of thinking

Additionally, Maikel takes great interest in the relevance of archaeology for today’s challenges. Arguing that “archaeology is a way of thinking” he uses the past as a resource to understand fundamental processes that shape our societies. He has published for the Conversation and his work has featured as part of Tegenlicht documentary. He has helped to develop the board-game EPOCH: Early Inventors, based on his lectures on prehistoric innovations.

His background at the Art academy gave him the expertise to take on the role of director and producer of documentaries and animations. Among other things, he has worked on film for the National Museum of Antiquities and the animation for the Faculty of Archaeology. His most recent documentary – the Future is Handmade – is featured on The Craftsmanship Initiative and questions the relevance of skill in today’s economy.

Guest researcher

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Europese Prehistorie

Publications

  • Kuijpers & Gijtenbeek Producent documentaires / animaties

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