Archaeology and the City

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

In this module, students will
• get acquainted with research topics in (proto-)historical urban
• develop a broader vision on urban developments from the classical to
the modern world
• be able to evaluate research data from urban contexts in Europe

Learning goals
After completing this module, students should be able to:
• Present an overview of the main characteristics of the urban fabric in
different periods
• Evaluate some of the research topics discussed in the module
• Discuss the main problems in the interpretation of the urban
archaeological record
• Form an opinion on hypothesis brought forward by other scholars

Inhoud vak

This module will examine cities across Europe from the Greek and Roman
world to the Middle Ages and Amsterdam in the Dutch Golden Age. Cities
have always been in the centre of social, cultural, and economic and
political action. They were the places of innovation, transformation and
cross-cultural contact. In every period and every region cities had
specific traits, but hey all share some basic characteristics.
Evaluating these differences and similarities is an important goal of
this course. What does a provincial Roman town share with a medieval or
a Viking town? As archaeologists we are especially interested in the
physical remains of urban settlements in the past, varying from palaces
and temples or churches to urban housing of the poor or the activities
of craftsmen. We will look at some phenomena recurring in all cities of
pre-industrial societies. In this module we will study various
approaches to urbanism, always combining archaeology with written
evidence as much as possible. However, archaeology and history do not
have a monopoly on the study of cities: some important theoretical
approaches in this module are derived from geography and anthropology.
Cities are shaped by their society and at the same time they shape this
society. Developments in urban environments therefore provide excellent
images of past societies as a whole.


Lectures (2 hours per week) and seminars (2 hours per week)


Contribution to seminars (10%)
Presentations/assignments (40%)
Formal exam (50%). This is a closed book exam on the literature


General reading: (parts from)
Andersen, H.D. et al. (ed.) 1997: Urbanization in the Mediterranean in
the 9th to 6th centuries, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.
Brown, A./J. Dumolyn (ed.) 2017: Medieval urban culture. (Studies in
European Urban History (1100-1800) 43) Turnhout: Brepols.
Clark, P., (ed.) 2013: The Oxford handbook of cities in world history.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gates, C., 2003: Ancient cities: the archaeology of urban life in the
Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece, and Rome. London: Routledge.
Laurence, R. /S. Esmonde-Cleary/G. Sears, 2011: The city in the Roman
West, c.250 BC-c.AD 250. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lees, A., 2015: The city: a world history. New Oxford world history. New
York: Oxford University Press.
Robinson, E.C., 2014: Papers on Italian Urbanism in the first Millennium
B.C., (Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplementary Series 97),
Schofield, J./A. Vince 2003: Medieval towns: the archaeology of British
towns in their European setting. London: Continuum.
Verhulst, A., 1999: The rise of cities in north-west Europe. (Themes in
international urban history 4) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Aanbevolen voorkennis

This module builds on courses of the 1st year archaeology.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode L_AABAARC201
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P1
Vakniveau 200
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Vakcoördinator dr. A. Prent
Examinator dr. A.A.A. Verhoeven
Docenten dr. A. Prent

Praktische informatie

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