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Archaeological Prospection in the Netherlands


Admission requirements


This seminar focuses on archaeological prospection by means of coring, which is common practice in the Dutch heritage management.

This course will focus on the Dutch coastal zone north of Leiden, which is the result of a complex history of landscape changes and human interference. Archaeological prospection of this type of landscape is based on a thorough understanding of the landscape, since it is the key to predict locations with a high potential.

We will perform a desk-based research and field survey similar to how this is practiced by companies. The course will use a case example north of Leiden (Vrouw Vennepolder, Oud Ade), in which you will collect coring data that you will process on campus. That also means that you will likely get your hands dirty.

The course has strong relations with the seminar Predictive Modelling, but whereas that course will focus on the modelling, this course will focus on acquiring and processing your own field data.

Course set-up

The course consists of seven weeks, subdivided as follows:

  • Three introductory lectures of 2 hours;

  • Weekly an afternoon of practicals on campus (computer-based data analysis and literature review);

  • 2 x 4 hours of fieldwork;

  • One afternoon of final presentations in the last week.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of governance in Dutch Heritage Management legislation;

  • Knowledge of the general outline of the landscape changes and associated deposits in the western Netherlands during the past 12,000 years;

  • Ability to use spatial information from topographical and geological maps, soil maps and ARCHIS to extract information needed for archeological prospection and landscape analysis;

  • To understand what information can be extracted from sediment cores and when coring can and cannot be used as an archaeological prospection tool;

  • Ability to apply and process coring data as an archaeological prospection tool;

  • Ability to present your own findings in a clear presentation and report that conforms to the Dutch heritage standards;

  • Ability to work in a group.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures in the first three weeks;

  • Practicals: two field days of coring, within cycling distance;

  • Weekly 4 hours of practicals: data processing (literature, field data and ARCHIS database on campus).

Assessment method

  • Group report of 6-10 pages (50%);

  • Group presentation of 10 minutes (50%).

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

The report needs to be at least a 5.5 to pass the course.

A retake of both presentation and report is possible, but only when attendance requirements have been met.

Reading list

To be published on Brightspace.


Registration start dates for the BA2 seminars differ from the registration dates of the regular courses.

Registration will take place with the use of forms. These will be e-mailed by the study advisers to all BA2 students and pre-master students at the beginning of January 2024.

The Administration Office will register all Archaeology BA2 students in uSis for their seminar exams. However, confirmation of these exams in MyStudymap is mandatory. No confirmation = no participation!


For more information about this course, please contact dr. J.A. (Joanne) Mol.


Compulsory attendance during all practicals and fieldwork, since it is a group effort.