Landscape Archeology as a young interdisciplinary research area covers a wide range of topics and methodological approaches. In the joint master program Landscape Archaeology of the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW Berlin), we understand Landscape Archeology as a science that examines the material traces of past cultures in the context of the interaction of the natural and social environment (Kluving and Guttmann, 2012). Various aspects of Landscape Archeology are teaching subjects of practical and theoretical units. Interdisciplinarity is a hallmark of all procedures. Dealing with various theoretical approaches offers the opportunity to "overcome rigid stereotyped thinking and reconcile divergent directions: preservation of monuments and Post-processual archaeology, positivism and idealism, archaeology dealing with physical and cultural sciences (...)." (cf. Gramsch 2003, 51)
Against this background, the program provides interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological skills as well as knowledge and skills from the disciplines of Geographical Sciences, Prehistoric Archeology as well as Geo and Field Archeology.
Theoretical concepts of spatial structures and processes in terms of natural landscape, cultural landscape and settlement development are discussed. Another teaching focus is set on training of methodological expertise in the areas of three-dimensional documentation, geophysical prospecting, excavation techniques, physical-geographical field methods, geographic information systems and modeling.
Berlin's scientific institutions have a close network between Ancient Studies and Earth Sciences. For ten years, these disciplines have been successfully cooperating in numerous projects of Research Area A within the framework of the Excellence Cluster Topoi.
The combination of research and teaching is an important component in the education of landscape archaeologists at the Freie Universität Berlin. Students gain experience in interdisciplinary organised project teams within the framework of study projects and field internships. They are involved in the research projects of the individual institutions. A selection of completed study projects can be found here.
In the first semester, the curriculum aims to introduce basic knowledge in landscape archeology. The focus is on the development of a common scientific language that is of great value for successful interdisciplinary cooperation. As a basis for this, students with a Bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences attend an introductory course in the Bachelor's degree program in Ancient Studies and students with a degree in Ancient Studies gain insights into the basics of Physical Geography.
In the second and third semester, the teaching of methodological competence (3-D documentation, prospecting techniques, modeling, laboratory methods) with practical exercises focuses on the joint processing of a study project. The fourth semester is reserved for the master thesis. The core modules are accompanied by the completion of modules from the so called “affine study areas”, which can be chosen from the range of courses offered by various disciplines and serve to sharpen and expand the profile of the students.
A detailed overview of the individual modules is given in the Study and Examination Regulations, which is only available in German language.
Graduates of the Master's program of Landscape Archeology are excellently positioned in the labor market of increasingly interconnected fields of ancient studies, classical and landscape archeology. This initial position is based on a broad and solid methodological competence coupled with access to the various theoretical approaches. Graduates have access to a scientific career like a PhD position, as well as a career in earth monument preservation or in private excavation and prospecting companies.