This course is discontinued

MAS2302 – Historical landscapes

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will deal with different Nordic landscape types with a special focus on cultural landscapes which contain elements from prehistoric and early historic times.
The basic structure of landscapes will be presented, together with their geology, topography, and an evaluation of what properties are relevant for human occupation and exploitation.
The course will focus on the cultural furnishing of landscapes, and how they are used within a diversity of social and cultural contexts. There will be a special focus on sustainable resource exploitation, and on how traditional communities have responded to climate change and shifting sociopolitical regimes.
Another aspect will be that of the symbolic landscapes. In addition to functional elements., traditional landscapes contain spiritual elements, such as graves, assembly sites and sacrificial places. Methods for visual landscape analysis (based in landscape architectural methods) will be introduced. The course is based in landscape archaeology, but will have an inter-disciplinary profile. Scandinavian and North Atlantic landscape will be used as examples.

Learning outcome

Students will have an elementary inter-disciplinary understanding of prehistoric and early historic landscapes in the Northern World. They will know the basic principles in geological structures (bed-rock, deposits, hydrology), and they are expected to know about some basic methods for landscape analysis.


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Recommended previous knowledge

The course is particularly relevant to students with courses in archaeology, history or human ecology, but it may also be taken by students without such background.
The literature in the reading- list is in English. Students with a command of Scandinavian languages may use subsidiary Scandinavian literature when required.

Overlapping courses

10 credits against MAS4302 - Historical landscapes


8 double lectures and 3 exercises / seminars. In order to qualify for the exam, students are required to participate in at least one qualifying exercise.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


During the semester the students are required to participate in at least one qualifying exercise. The exam will consist of a 10-page essay (approx. 2300 characters per page) on a given topic. The assignment text will be issued early in the semester.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination


The course may be used as an element in the 40-group Kulturminnevern (Cultural Resource Management) in combination with for instance KULH2010. It can also be used as part of the 80-group Fordypning i middelalderens arkeologi og kunsthistorie (Concentration in Archaelogy and Art History of the Middle Ages) and the 40-group Middelalderens kulturhistorie (Cultural History of the Middle Ages).

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Teaching language