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Applied material analysis


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Admission to the MSc-programme Artefact Studies.


In a series of practical assignments, introduced by formal lectures, the students will familiarise themselves with various categories of material, making use of the reference collections at the Faculty of Archaeology in Leiden and different microscopes in Leiden and Delft.
Topics that will be covered are flint types, the mineralogical study of stones, metals, starch and phytolith analysis, pigments, fuel and organic materials.
Practical training will take place by means of scheduled class assignments and a 16-hour individual practical assignment of the student’s own choice.

Course objectives

  • Familiarity with the properties and functionality of various raw materials;

  • Learning how to use various microscopes to study materials;

  • General understanding of the technological processes involved in the production of objects from various raw materials;

  • Ability to independently carry out a limited analysis of a category of material culture of one’s own choice;

  • Ability to present the results of an analysis in a poster.

Ects calculation

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 hours of lectures (1 ects);

  • 210 pages of literature (1,5 ects);

  • 30 hours of practical assignments > 14 in class, 16 individual (1,5 ects);

  • Poster (0,5 ects);

  • Excursion to laboratories (0,5 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Practical work (including discussions).

Assessment method

  • Laboratory assignments;

  • Participation;

  • Practical project;

  • Poster.

Assessment deadline

The poster needs to be handed in by 20 April 2013.

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 mw prof. dr A.L. van Gijn.