Cutting Edge in Archaeology: Archaeology and Conflict


Course Objective

If you successfully complete the course, you will:
1. have acquired a basic knowledge of the most important theoretical
approaches and methodologies used by archaeologists to study armed
conflicts in the past
2. have shown the ability to connect these theoretical and
methodological approaches to concrete cases and reflect critically about
the ways archaeologists (or historians) have applied them
3. have acquired a deeper knowledge of the materiality of conflict in a
specific time period and/or region
4. be able to write a theoretically informed paper in which the above
objectives are realized.

Course Content

In the past two decades we have witnessed the rapid development of a new
field of archaeological research, commonly labelled as conflict
archaeology. It has its origins in the study of battlefields and other
conflict-related phenomena in the modern and pre-modern periods, but
numerous studies have already made clear that this theme, its methods,
techniques and theories are also relevant for older historical and even
prehistoric periods. However, the material dimension of mass violence
and conflict still is an underexplored field of study. This course aims
to give an up-to-date overview of the potentials, the scope and the
limitations of conflict archaeology. We will discuss a broad range of
topics from the prehistoric period up to the Second World War, and have
a focus on methodological and theoretical issues. Questions that will be
addressed are: how can we identify battlefields? How essential is the
availability of documentary evidence? What is the potential of a
landscape-archaeological approach in this field of research? Has
archaeology something to offer to the study of genocide in the past? How
important are ritual depositions related to conflict?

Teaching Methods

A series of lectures followed by classroom discussions and two sessions
with presentations of student papers

Method of Assessment

Participation in classroom discussions (20%), paper (4000 wrds) (80%)

Entry Requirements

Bachelor archaeology, bachelor history, bachelor cultural anthropology


John Carman 2014: Archaeologies of Conflict (Bloomsbury). Further
literature will be put available on the Canvas site.

Target Audience

Master students in archaeology, history, or cultural anthropology

General Information

Course Code L_BEMAARC022
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. N.G.A.M. Roymans
Examiner prof. dr. N.G.A.M. Roymans
Teaching Staff prof. dr. N.G.A.M. Roymans
prof. dr. J. Symonds

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: