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Palaeoecology: A basic introduction


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Degree students (including Dutch BA graduates): BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.


This course occurs at the beginning of the MSc track and aims to get international and Dutch students from different backgrounds to the same level of understanding before the whole class begins the Current ecological issues course and attends the mini conference series Climate change.

Lectures will introduce students to the methods and techniques employed by archaeo-/palaeo-botanists and zoologists while reconstructing past environments (including climate) or when considering how hominins or humans exploited various components of the ecosystems they inhabited.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the methods and techniques used by archaeo-/palaeo-botanists and zoologists;

  • Understanding of how these methods and techniques are used by archaeologists to generate data (direct or proxy) that answer specific research questions;

  • To realise the limitations of each method or technique when applied to answering archaeological research questions;

  • To understand that a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving is desirable.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures;

  • 420 pages of literature.


Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written examination.

Assessment deadline

Exam dates can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

To be announced.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact dr M.H. Field or prof. dr M. van Kolfschoten.