Archaeology studies people and their cultures through the material sources of information that have remained. These sources may include objects, solid constructions, or chemical changes in the soil caused by human activities. As a discipline, archaeology is multidisciplinary in nature. Traditionally, it has had much in common with the natural sciences, especially with regards to research methods.

Concerning the framing of research aims, however, archaeology is nevertheless a humanistic science. In the University of Oulu, the subject is closely linked to cultural anthropology, especially during the Basic Studies phase. The aim of archaeological research is to understand and explain culture and cultural change.

An archaeologist is a multidisciplinary professional versed in material culture and its study and conservation. Archaeologists work in co-operation with land users, zoning experts, and the authorities responsible for environmental conservation. The protection of archaeological cultural heritage is an integral part of environmental protection, and the ethical goal of an archaeologist is to preserve as much of the past as possible for future generations.

In the Archaeology programme the history of Finland, as well as of other continents, is studied from an anthropological perspective. The emphasis is on the archaeological cultural heritage of northern Finland and other northern areas in a global context.

In addition to mastering the art of the interpreting material culture, the teaching also focuses on universal cultural processes and research methods related to handling source material. A central aim of the studies is to gain the ability to carry out archaeological research independently, which includes gathering observational data, analysis, interpretation, and presenting the findings in written form.

Archaeology students have good chances to study abroad for short periods of time as a result of the numerous exchange programmes the University of Oulu has with foreign universities.

Subsidiary subjects that complement a degree in Archaeology include Cultural Anthropology, Classical Archaeology, History, Art History, Museum Studies, Geology, Geography, Biology, and Environmental Protection.

Study guidance is provided by Amanuensis Timo Ylimaunu, tel. +358 29 448 3236, timo.ylimaunu(a)

Last updated: 2.10.2019