Theory and Method in Near Eastern Archaeology

Course content

The course deals with the important theoretical approaches and methods developed in archaeology and related topics. The theories will be studied by reading relevant texts and discussing their use in archaeology. The methods (e.g. statistics) are practised in class.

The course starts with an overview of evolutionism, cultural particularism, diffusionism etc., but concentrates in the following on the 20th/21st cent. approaches such as ethnoarchaeology, post-structuralism, agency, materiality etc. Topics will be between others economic and social explanations in archaeology, interpretations of figurines, typologies etc.


Curriculum for the Master’s Programmes in Ancient and Medieval Near Eastern Studies, 2008

Fagstudieordning Kandidatuddannelserne i nærorientalsk arkæologi, assyriologi og ægyptologi, 2019

Learning outcome

KA 2008-studieordning:
Theory and Method in Near Eastern Archaeology (aktivitetskode HNAK03211E)

Theory and Practice of Archaeology (aktivitetskode kode HNAK03261E)

KA 2019-studieordning:
Teori og metode inden for nærorientalsk arkæolog (aktivitetskode HNAK03491E)



Class include lectures with general introductions, followed by presentations of and discussions with the students. The students have to study different texts for each class and have to present several texts during the course.
Part of the course will allow students to practice archaeological methods such as typology, taphonomy etc.

B.G. Trigger: A History of Archaeological Thought;  J. A. Bell: Reconstructing Prehistory (1994), chapter 4-7;  R. Bernbeck: Theorien in der Archäologie (1997). These texts are the base for the entire course and need to be read for the first classes. More material follows through the semester

Ability to read English and German texts

Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 75
  • Preparation
  • 225
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Project work
  • 56,5
  • Practical exercises
  • 28
  • English
  • 412,5