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.


Fagstudieordning Kandidatuddannelserne i nærorientalsk arkæologi, assyriologi og ægyptologi, 2019

Fagstudieordning Kandidattilvalg i assyriologi, nærorientalsk arkæologi, ægyptologi, 2019

Learning outcome

KA 2019-studieordning
Theory and Method in Archaeology (aktivitetskode HNAK03491E)

KA-Tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Theory and Method in Archeology (Aktivitetskode HNAK13491E)



Each class starts with a general introduction, 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;   Hodder and Scott, Reading the Past. Harris, O.J.T. and C.N. Cipolla. Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium. These texts are the base for the entire course, more material follows through the semester. A reading list will be handed out at the beginning of the semester.

Ability to read English texts

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

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