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Maaike Honshorst, alumnus of the Research Master’s Archaeology and Heritage

A job as archaeological adviser 

‘After my Bachelor’s in Archaeology and Art History at the UvA, I went on a world trip. When I returned after a couple of years, I decided to do a Master’s degree, which ended up being the two-year Research Master’s programme Archaeology and Heritage, also at the UvA. I was already approached during my study to do a part-time job by my current employer, which had heard from my internship supervisor that I had received a 9 for my internship and would be very well suited to the position of archaeological adviser. It came at the perfect moment. I have now graduated and work full-time for this organisation, a very enjoyable job. Working as a field archaeologist s not an option for me, because I’m always cold.’ 

Advising municipalities and project developers 

‘As an archaeological adviser, I am responsible for preparing desk research, schedules of requirements and archaeological recommendations for private parties and companies. In addition, I am responsible for assessing building plans in terms of the archaeology on the basis of archaeological policy. That means that I assess whether or not an archaeological survey has to take place before the building plans can be carried out. I also judge archaeological survey reports as archaeological adviser for municipalities and regional centres for the preservation of monuments and historic buildings. I am seconded to heritage organisations and municipalities in the Netherlands for this. Finally, I also make value, forecast and policy maps in QGIS for municipalities.’

The importance of internships 

‘In any case, I would recommend that all students do an internship Without my internships, the transition from study to professional field would have been extremely big. I have done three internships: at a museum, a commercial company and in the civil service. Because of this, you get to experience the professional field from different perspectives, and you gain valuable experience as a result of which you enter the organisation or company at a higher level when you start working after your study.

More than enough work in this field 

‘During my Bachelor’s degree, I mainly focused on Mediterranean archaeology. When I started my Master’s, I realised that I also had to choose courses that were related to Dutch archaeology if I wanted to start working in the Netherlands eventually. That is why I chose my elective, internships and tutorials very deliberately. During the Research Master’s, you learn to conduct research at a high level. However, there is less attention devoted to the practice, which would be of great benefit, for example, in terms of advisory skills. For the rest, future students need not fear a lack of work. The field is aging rapidly. Therefore, there are plenty of assignments. We are really eager for a new generation. 

KNA archaeologist

‘I hope to advance quickly in my profession. Officially, you become a registered KNA archaeologist after three years. KNA stands for Quality Norm Dutch Archaeology (Kwaliteitsnorm Nederlandse Archeologie) You must then meet all sorts of continuing professional development obligations and other requirements. That is why I will be publishing my first article next year and in the future I want to publish an accessible book for the general public about the archaeology of Terschelling, which was also the subject of my thesis. The UvA also drew inspiration from that thesis. I will soon be joining a UvA study programme to Terschelling as an archaeologist, where I will be supervising students. In my opinion, this is the most enjoyable and multifaceted job in the Netherlands!’