New Perspectives on Archive Archaeology

Graduate School, Arts at Aarhus University


Archives are an indispensable tool for deciphering the past. What composes an archive is variable almost anything can become part of an archive but no matter what type of documentation, such materials tell the stories. Archives can document objects at specific points in the afterlives, or develop historiography by providing indirect evidence of the people who collected, created, and compiled the archive. In sum, archival materials have the potential to be more than dry and “objective” documents. Archives bring past stories to life.

This course considers archival material as crucial historical data. It focuses on the archive’s value in the several different humanities fields by presenting case studies from a variety of scholarly perspectives, thus shedding light on the manifold potentials of archives.

To develop an array of research avenues for example, creating open data resources, identifying and repatriating looted antiquities, reconstructing archaeological monuments and sites in virtual reality, uncovering object provenances the course asks such questions as: How do we study archives? How can we utilize archival material? How do we critically appraise the material? What ethics should guide the use of archives?

The course will engage with different types of archival material to treat topics such as archival material as an object of study, history of collections, forensic archaeology, open data resources, and cultural heritage preservation and documentation.

This one-day, research-led course will provide the participants with an introduction to a diverse range of methodologies and approaches in the study of archives. The course will consist of five keynote lectures that will explore different perspectives, uses, and peculiarities and difficulties of working with archival material. The PhD students will actively contribute to the course by presenting their own research. In so doing, the course aims to provide the participants with a forum to discuss their work with peers and specialists and to receive feedback.


The course will offer research-led teaching on case studies, methods and techniques for the study of archives in archaeological practice. It will focus on two main objectives:

  • To explore the importance and potential of archives for the study of ancient cultures.
  • To explore and discuss traditional and innovative approaches to the study of archive practices.


The aim is to encourage students from archaeology and related disciplines from the humanities to consider and discuss the potential of applying a wide range of approaches to their own research.


The use of archives in history and archaeology; the creation and use of archives; innovative approaches to archival material.

Target group:

PhD students




The course will offer six lectures (Module 1) and will be followed by presentations given by the registered participants (Module 2) on their own case studies.




Professor Rubina Raja (Centre for Urban Network Evolutions/Classical Studies, Aarhus University) –

Assistant Professor Olympia Bobou (Centre for Urban Network Evolutions, Aarhus University) –

Dr. Amy Miranda (Centre for Urban Network Evolutions, Aarhus University) –

Dr. David Saunders (J. Paul Getty Museum) –

Dr. Christos Tsirogianis (Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University) –

Associate Professor Nina Kofoed (Department of History and Classical Studies, Aarhus University) -

Dr. Nicole Budrovich, Getty Museum

Dr. Judith Barr, Getty Museum

Dates and time:

14th April 2021, 8 am – 16.15 pm (potentially to be held online)


Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) Aarhus University Moesgård Allé 20, DK-8270 Højbjerg Denmark

Application deadline:

Please apply via this link no later than 12th March 2021.