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The archaeology of ancient religions: Paganism, Judaism, Christianity


Admission requirements

BA either in Religious Studies, Classical Languagesm, Ancient History or Archaeology


This course will bring archaeology and religion together and approach the subject from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, mainly focussing on the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The first part of the course will provide the student with some important (theoretical) debates in the field. The second part of the course will focus on the eastern Mediterranean in particular and pay attention to, amongst others, material remains of “pagan” religiosity, the interaction between Judaism and Hellenism, the Jewish diaspora and nascent Early Christian material culture.

Course objectives

  • Understanding theoretical questions involved when studying ancient religions on the basis of material culture;
    – Knowledge of and insight in the selected case studies presented in the class;
    – Independent research on a specific topic, related to the theme of the course.


See Time table

Mode of instruction

Lecture and assignments (including presentations by students)

Course Load

The total course load will be 120 hours, 24 hours will be spent for class attendance, the rest for reading the literature and preparing presentations and exams.

Assessment method

Essay based on presentation, submitted at the end of the course.


Yes, Blackboard will be used as means of communication and to distribute study material.

Reading list

To be announced


Via uSis
In addition to the registration in uSis, students are also expected to self-enroll in blackboard a few weeks before the course starts.
To sign up for the class contact course leader Prof. dr. J.K. Zangenberg

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.


Attendants who miss more than two sessions will have to repeat the course. Minimum attendance is 3 students.

Contact information

Prof. dr. Jürgen K. Zangenberg, Institute for Religious Studies