F. ARK Advanced Archaeological Methods

Course content

This course concerns the dissemination and training in archaeological methods at a specialized level. The course consists of two modules:


1) Advanced Field Archaeology


This module is a field course conducted in wetland contexts. The goal of the module is to introduce and educate students in a series of advanced archaeological/biological field methodologies aimed at locating and investigating archaeological contexts. Moreover the goal is to train the students to analyze and describe a prehistoric environment and to "reconstruct" a cultural landscape at a given time. The course is currently focused on late glacial and early Holocene contexts, i.e. the early late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods of southern Scandinavia. The actual course location and study area is the large peat bogs of southern and western Zealand (Denmark) known for their preservation and numerous archaeological sites.


At this module the following wetland archaeological methodologies will be introduced:


a) Introduction to following wetland archaeological methodologies for locating and describing late glacial and early Holocene geological contexts in wetlands and kettle holes.


b) Systematic surveys, e.g., geological coring, followed by recognition and recording of archaeological settlements in wetland contexts


c) The planning and conduction of test excavations in order to evaluate an archaeological site concerning its preservation and archaeological potential, in wetland contexts.


This part of the course is introduced by a series of meetings and introductions to the methodologies followed by a 2 week intensive field course and finalized by the handing in of a report on the studied contexts.



2) Advanced Archaeological Documentation and Analysis

This module aims to provide the student with insights in different new and/or advanced documentation and analyses methods and further how their choice of methods affects the interpretation of ancient societies and their complexity. Additionally, the course explores the challenges of integrating scientific and 3D data into an archaeological framework. Another goal is to train the students in different presentation methods such as writing an article and give presentations in English.


At this module the following will be introduced:

New and/or advanced techniques from the natural sciences and how they may be applied in the humanities, the processes involved, and the range of potential results in the use of scientific methods such as ancient DNA, protein and isotope analyses.

The use of 3D applications in archaeology


This part of the course is a series of seminars and workshops


Prehistoric Archaeology

Lectures, seminars, exercises, excursions, group- and individual guidance.

1) Advanced Field Archaeology 
The course is introduced by a series of meetings and introductions to the methodologies followed by a 2 week intensive field course and finalized by the handing in of a report on the studied contexts.

2) Advanced Archaeological Documentation and Analysis 
The course is a series of seminars and workshops.

Part 1:

Andersen, A., Teilmann, D., Jørgensen, L., Rømer, P.R., Lundbye, M. (2018). Excavation Report, Field school 2018. Øresø Mølle. Unpublished report, University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen.


Boreham, S., Conneller, C., Milner, N., Taylor, B., Needham, A., Boreham, J., & Rolfe, C. J. (2011). Geochemical indicators of preservation status and site deterioration at Star Carr. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(10), 2833–2857.


Brunning, R. (2012). Archaeological Strategies for Terrestrial Wetland Landscapes. The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology.  Francesco Menotti and Aidan O'Sullivan (eds). Oxford University Press. (17 pages)

Fischer, A. (2013). The Fensmark settlement and the almost invisible Late Palaeolithic in Danish field archaeology. Danish Journal of Archaeology, 1(2), 123–141.


Jessen, C. E., Pedersen, K. B., Christensen, C., Olsen, J., Mortensen, M. F., & Hansen, K. M. (2014). Early Maglemosian culture in the Preboreal landscape: archaeology and vegetation from the earliest Mesolithic site in Denmark at Lundby Mose, Sjælland. Quaternary International 378: 73-87.


Mortensen M., P.S. Henriksen & O. Bennike (2014).  Living on the good soil: relationships between soils, vegetation and human settlement during the late Allerød period in Denmark. Vegetation History and  Archaeobotany  23:195–205


Noe-Nygaard, Nanna; Knudsen, K.L. ; Houmark-Nielsen, Michael (2006). Kap. 14. Fra istid til og med jægerstenalder. Naturen i Danmark, Geologien. Danmark : Gyldendal, 2006: 303-331.


Oliver, A. (2012). International and National Wetland Management Policies. The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology. Francesco Menotti and Aidan O'Sullivan (eds). Oxford University Press. (19 pages).


Pedersen, KB, Mortensen, MF & Sørensen, M (2016). Tilbage til Holmegård Mose. Gefjon, bind 1, 1:10-37.


Sørensen, M., Matthiesen, H., Pedersen, K. B., Mortensen, M. F., & Hartmann, N. (2020). Åmosen genbesøgt - hvad er tilbage? Nye arkæologiske undersøgelser af kendte mesolitiske lokaliteter i Store Åmose. Gefjon.


Troels-Smith, J. (2002). Ertebølle Culture – Farmer Culture: results of the past ten years excavations in the Åmose, West Zealand. In: The Neolitisation of Denmark. 150 years of debate. A. Fischer & K. Kristiansen (eds). J.R Collins publications, Sheffield: 119-142.


Part 2

Brothwell, D.R.; Pollard, A.M. (2005) Handbook of Archaeological Sciences, Wiley, ISBN 978-0-470-01476-9, 782 pages ( https://www.wiley.com/en-dk/Handbook+of+Archaeological+Sciences-p-9780470014769

Conolloy J. and Lake M. (2006) Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology, Cambridge University Press.

Evans, T. L, and Daly, P. (2006) Digital Archaeology. Bridging method and theory, Routledge.

Roy, A. and Smith, P. (eds) (1996) Archaeological conservation and its consequences, Preprints of the Contributions to the IIC Copenhagen Congress, 26-30 August 1996

Wilhelmson, H. (2017) Perspectives from a human-centered archaeology Iron Age people and society on Öland. https://portal.research.lu.se/portal/en/publications/perspectives-from-a-humancentred-archaeology(c6d33164-dd18-466b-9936-44156f3e3ea4).html

Further bibliography will be provided on the first day of the course and via Absalon

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Please note that due to a semester exemption for the fall semester 2024 the exam consists of a portfolio.
Exam registration requirements

Current curricula at Prehistoric Archaeology

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 154
  • Exercises
  • 28
  • English
  • 182


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

See time table
Study Board of Archaeology, Ethnology, Greek & Latin, History
Contracting department
  • SAXO-Institute - Archaeology, Ethnology, Greek & Latin, History
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinators
  • Mikkel Sørensen   (5-7672747c7b49717e7637747e376d74)
  • Eva Birgitta Andersson Strand   (12-6d7e6969766c6d7a7b7b777648707d7536737d366c73)
Saved on the 10-05-2024

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