Universität Wien

410010 FKO Mobility and migration from an archaeological and cultural-historical perspective (2023W)

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 15 participants
Language: German, English



Lecture Room: Hörsaal 7, Franz-Klein-Gasse 1, 3rd floor (hybrid: online attendance possible)

Lecture hours: partly blocked, Thursdays
5 October 2023 14:15 – 15:45
19. October 2023 14:15 – 15:45
9 November 2023 14:15 – 15:45
23 November 2023 14:15 – 15:45
11 January 2024 9:00 – 12:00 & 14:15 – 15:45
18 January 2024 9:00 – 12:00 & 14:15 – 15:45

This is a course with continuous assessment, i.e. compulsory (classroom or online) attendance and active participation throughout. Two non-excused cases of absence are permitted. Foreseeable non-attendance or absence must be announced by e-mail to katharina.rebay-salisbury@univie.ac.at.


Aims, contents and method of the course

In this seminar, students will examine interdisciplinary approaches to the study of mobility and migration in prehistoric and classical archaeology. In recent years, the introduction of new scientific approaches has attracted much attention, but also concern about how they can be properly integrated with more traditional approaches based on material culture. The seminar therefore tackles a key current issue in archaeology today.
• To introduce the concepts of mobility and migration, and gain an understanding of why it is essential to modern archaeology.
• To increase skills in critical thinking, reading, developing arguments, and communicating through writing and speaking.
• Students will learn to locate and utilize resources about interdisciplinary case studies that address socio-cultural questions.
Students will learn about theoretical and material-culture based approaches to mobility and migration, starting with key concepts, definitions and a history of research. The key methodologies of isotope and archaeogenetic research will be introduced and illuminated through case studies. The course conveyers’ own work, focusing on gendered migration in Bronze Age central Europe and ‘colonial’ migrations in the Iron Age Mediterranean will provide examples for discussion.
The seminar will be a mix of teach-led presentations and discussions, guided reading and student presentations. The chronological and geographic scope will range from the Paleolithic in Eurasia to the Iron Age Mediterranean. The aim is to bridge science-based analysis with archaeological interpretations, integrating applied methods and social questions, and discussing the implications for our understanding of the past in a written research paper and oral presentation. During this process, students will learn the skills necessary for producing scientific presentations and research papers, including lecture presentation style, writing abstracts and outlines, and the parts of a scientific paper.

Assessment and permitted materials

The seminar will be held entirely in English. Students are expected to demonstrate understanding of mobility & migrations in their discussions of archaeological case studies, their methods, interpretations and conclusions.

Assessment is based on (1) participation in discussions, (2) the completion of a book review, (3) individual presentations, and (4) a final written paper. More information will be provided on Moodle.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The assessment will be points-based, 100 points is the maximum score.
Active participation and completion of assignments: 30%
Presentation (30 min): 30%
Final written paper (ca. 5000 words excl. bibliography, tables and figure/table captions): 40%
100-87= 1 (very good), 86-75=2 (good), 74-63=3 (fair), 62-51= 3 (sufficient), 50-0= (fail)

Examination topics

Topics for the book review, presentation and written paper will be selected individually.

Reading list

A detailed reading list will be provided on Moodle. You can use the following to get started:
Aldred, O. 2020. The Archaeology of Movement. London: Routledge.
Fernández-Götz, M., Nimura, C., Stockhammer, P. W., and Cartwright, R. (eds) Rethinking Migrations in Late Prehistoric Eurasia, Proceedings of the British Academy 254. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frei, K. M. et al. 2015. Tracing the dynamic life story of a Bronze Age Female. Nature Scientific Reports 5: 10.1038/srep10431.
Haak, W. et al. 2015. Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe. Nature 522: 207–211.
Hofmann, D., Frieman, C. J., and Nyland, A. J. (eds) 2023. Migration Narratives in Archaeology. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 18.09.2023 08:08