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Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Only students who are taking the BA3-specialisation Bioarchaeology will be admitted.


This course acts as the bridge from student to early career academic. Students will undertake their own small archaeo-/palaeo-botanical investigation involving the development of a research question(s) with an archaeological theme. These questions will be answered by sub-sampling a sample, extracting the fossils from the sample, fossil identification, data presentation and interpretation allowing the production of a written document (suitable for publication in an internationally refereed journal).

Course objectives

Plant macrofossils:

  • Know how to select which part of a sample can be used for analyses in the laboratory;

  • Extract fossil plant material from sediment;

  • Identify the fossils using reference materials;

  • Visually present data in a diagram;

  • Interpret the data and make reconstructions of past vegetation and environment.


  • Ability to use reference material to identify spores and pollen of a Quaternary site;

  • Ability to make a pollen-diagram;

  • Ability to interpret palynological data.

In general:

  • Ability to put your own results into context;

  • Ability to generate a manuscript that meets the scientific standards.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Laboratory supervision and regular meetings to determine how the paper is developing.

Assessment method

A paper suitable for submission to an internationally refereed journal.

Assessment deadline

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

The reading list is to be compiled by the students.


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

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact dr. M.H. Field.