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Current ecological issues


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA or BSc-degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.


Current archaeo-/palaeo-ecological issues arising from the investigation of botanical and faunal remains from an archaeological context will be explored.
Students will be asked to choose a topic that interests them, research this theme, produce a written paper on their research, and give an oral presentation that clearly informs the audience about their findings. The rest of the group will ask relevant questions to the speakers and get involved in the discussions that arise. Any interesting and topical issue can be chosen.
For example, a student interested in zoological fossils may focus on:
(1) an archaeozoological theme that concentrates on the palaeo-economy of prehistoric and historic societies in The Netherlands or on the role of domesticated animals in human societies or (2) Pleistocene faunas in North-Western Europe with the associated archaeological, evolutionary, biostratigraphical, palaeo-ecological and taphonomical issues.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the latest research and current debates in science-based archaeology;

  • To develop a critical view on the latest research and on current issues;

  • Ability to discuss the background and relevance of current issues in a seminar environment;

  • Ability to critically assess the literature and voice one’s own properly argumented opinion.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures;

  • 280 pages of literature;

  • Presentation;

  • Paper.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Discussion seminars;

  • Oral presentation classes.

Assessment method

  • Written paper;

  • Oral presentation;

  • Participation in the questioning of speakers

Assessment deadline

All assignments need to be handed in by the end of block 2.

Reading list

To be compiled by the students.


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 prof. dr M. van Kolfschoten or dr M.H. Field.