Material Sources from the Baltic Middle Ages

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5AR019

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Archaeology A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 29 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university

Learning outcomes

After passed examination of the course, students should be able to:

  • identify and describe a representative selection of material sources from the Middle Ages
  • analyse and critically reflect upon how material sources are used in interpretations of Medieval societies in the Baltic Sea area
  • evaluate and discuss the possibilities and liminations of material sources to generate new knoweldge about the Middle Ages
  • apply relevant theories from the humanities and social sciences
  • independently formulate strategies to mediate the material cultural heritage of the Baltic Sea area in both text and image


The course focuses on the material cultural heritage of the Middle Ages on the island of Gotland and the Baltic Sea area from cirka 1000 to 1500 AD. It highlights empirical studies of a selection of typical artefacts in collections and exhibitions in the Gotland Museum, as well as Medieval monuments on the island. The course also includes practical work where the participants synthesize and describe a selection of material sources from the Middle Ages. These exercises also include the collection of relevant secondary litterature.

Archaeological knowledge production is practiced in three steps: identification and documentation of primary sources, a critical reflection and discussion of how material sources have been interpreted in research and the publication and mediation of results via digital media to an interested public.

Special emphasis is put on the participant's ability to disect the interplay between sources, methods and theory in interpretations and how knowledge of the Middle Ages is created and mediated in research from an archaeological perspective. The course mixes empirical studies with relevant theoretical perspectives on material sources.


The teaching consists of seminars, lectures, excursions and study visits. All teaching is offered in English.


Assessment is ongoing through oral and written presentations, individually or in groups. Active participation in seminars and group presentations is included in the assesment. Written assignments include an individually authored critical reflection on the material cultural heritage of the Middle Ages.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.