Material Culture Studies

Material Culture Studies is a one-year MSc-specialisation at the internationally renowned Archaeology Faculty of Leiden University. This programme focuses on the study of portable artefacts made from a variety of source materials, as well as the techniques used to construct them.

Biographies of artefacts

In this MSc-specialisation you will be engaged in the study of the cultural biographies of portable artefacts. These objects may be made of flint and other types of stone, ceramics, bone, antler, shell, coral, metal or glass. Our aim is the reconstruction of technological processes. Towards this end, we will teach you to examine the interconnectivity of different chaînes opératoires. This will give you insight into the varied relationships between people and things.

Experimental archaeology

You will gain knowledge about current approaches in material culture theory, analytical methods and techniques. We will also introduce you to experimental archaeology. Experiments are central in both our research and teaching and are conducted in the experimental laboratory as well as in the setting of project Horsterwold. This is a Stone Age hamlet in the northwest of the Netherlands that we are constructing in order to use for experiments.


As part of this master’s specialisation, you will be able to engage in a period of fieldwork related to one of our research projects. Alternatively, you may also choose to work as an intern in a museum or laboratory. This will provide you with valuable hands-on experience and will expand your network.

Master details

  • Dit is een afstudeerrichting van: Archaeology
  • Graad Master of Science in Archaeology
  • Onderwijsvorm Full-time
  • Duur 1 year
  • Start September, February
  • Taal English
  • Vestigingsplaats Leiden
  • Croho/isatcode 60805

Interested in research?

Consider the two-year Research Master’s in Archaeology


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Fieldwork and internships

Read more about fieldwork and internships

Vind jouw master aan de Universiteit Leiden