Landscape Archaeology

Graduate (Master Degree) study programme in Landscape Archaeology

Contents of the Programme

Graduate studies in Landscape archaeology at Klaipėda University are designed not only for students, who completed undergraduate (Bachelor Degree) studies in archaeology, but also for undergraduates in the fields of history, geography, tourism management, cultural heritage and landscape architecture. The purpose of graduate studies is to enhance the knowledge of such students of the interrelations of the communities of the past with the natural and cultural environments that surrounded them, and develop their capacities of creative application of such knowledge in scientific research activities. Furthermore, the studies give theoretical knowledge of the principles of operation and usability in field archaeology of contemporary methods and techniques, and create conditions for unassisted testing of such techniques in practice. Introduction to the opportunities provided by modern information technologies, facilities for digitalization of archaeological data and visual means is done in order to enable graduates to use reduced-impact (non-destructive) research methods and techniques, when applying in practice theoretical knowledge received during the graduate studies, yet, being able to perform detailed and comprehensive specialized research. After completion of graduate studies in landscape archaeology, graduates will be capable, in respective areas of activities, of analyzing problems related to valuable landscapes, their protection, management and planning, they will comprehend the principles of operation of the state-of-art techniques and methods used in archaeology, and will be able to apply them independently and creatively both in the process of research as such and in handling materials obtained through research efforts. The studies provide qualifications which give competence to get employment at archaeological research institutions and in private companies engaged in archaeological field explorations, at the governmental institutions in charge of protection and management of cultural and natural heritage, at construction companies whose business is to manage and renovate objects of archaeological and historical heritage, in the areas of cultural tourism, publishing and other spheres requiring the use of skills related to the work with information technologies and analytical thinking. Besides, graduates, who completed graduate (Master’s Degree) studies in archaeology, possess comprehensive training for an independent research work; therefore, they are in the position to continue learning under the third level study programmes (postgraduate or doctoral studies) at Klaipėda University or other Lithuanian and foreign universities.

The study programme offered by the Department of History of Klaipėda University differs from graduate (Master Degree) study programmes in the field of archaeology available in other universities of Lithuania in that that the knowledge of applied nature and practical skills, related to the use of modern techniques and methods in archaeological research, are taught here in the context of interdisciplinary theories of cultural landscape, while the greatest focus is given to the archaeology of historic times in the Baltic Sea region and underwater archaeology. The main topic of the lectures given in the first years of studies is the theme of cultural landscape, which is analysed in the theoretical and applied perspectives (ethical and cultural, sacral and ritual, authority and power symbols expression). Students for master’s degree are introduced to the theories of modern archaeology science and methodology of field research in archaeology, besides, they have an opportunity to choose innovative optional study courses, which extend the topical and problem scope of speciality subjects (especially in heritage preservation and heritage management spheres). In this respect, the graduate study programme in archaeology stands in close relation to the renewed graduate (Master Degree) study programme in the history of the Baltic countries pursued by the Department of History: seven study modules of the latter programme have been incorporated into the study programme in archaeology.

Lectures account for a small share of the total workload in the graduate (Master Degree) study programme in archaeology. The major share is intended for self-study and independent work of students, which efficacy and quality essentially determine the skills and competences acquired by them. During the first year of studies, an independent work of students includes preparation for classes and seminars, self-study of literature, writing papers and essays. In the second year, focus is replaced upon practical application of the acquired theoretical knowledge in archaeological field research practice and laboratory practice work. Students obtain practical skills in the area of analysis and deciphering of aerial photographic images, learn to operate instruments and devices for measurement of radio-acoustic and magnetic waves and electric resistance, they are taught the principles of operation of tachymeter and Global Positioning System (GPS) stations. Among the main accomplishment of the graduate studies in landscape archaeology is an independently performed research for the purpose o writing the Master’s thesis. Master’s theses are defended publicly, they are assessed by two official opponents and the committee composed of the Department’s lecturers.

The overall scope of the study programme is 120 credits.