Africa: Histories, Ecologies, and Sustainabilities

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5AR029

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, 1 November 2021
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 completing this course students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in depth understanding of African archaeology and landscape history and its sources
  • Critically assess the historical process of food production in Africa. and in relation to food security and resilience
  • Critically assess historical urban processes in Africa, and their relation to the sustainability of African cities today and in the future
  • Critically assess African landscape histories in relation to conservation, and development and environmental policy


The course is orientated to students from archaeology, history, or sustainability who wants to build an in depth understanding of African archaeology and history and to understand the linkages between historical knowledge and sustainability. For students coming from the field of sustainability studies with an interest in African continent, the course gives a necessary historical background to understanding the present society and landscape. The early innovations in food production, and later experimentation with new crops are important reference points for knowledge and perspectives on sustainable agriculture and management of food today. The course also goes through past patterns of urbanism and centralised organisation of trade and resources allow for a better understanding of urban challenges and futures. Landscape history is fundamental to conservation management, development and landscape planning. Through case studies, the course will zoom in on regions or periods in time that can elucidate societal transitions in farming, urbanism and landscape management.


Instruction consists of lectures and seminars. Instruction is given in English. The students will choose areas for in depth studies individually or in a group and will present their case studies in seminar form.


Assessment takes the form of participation in seminars, individual and group presentations and an individual written assignment. Active participation in seminars and class activities is a requirement. The examination can be in English or Swedish.

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.

Other directives

The course overlaps with 5AR007 Africa: Food, Metals and Towns 7.5 credits - the two courses cannot be included in the same degree.