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Research seminar: Bio-molecular archaeology


Admission requirements

BA or BSc degree obtained, admission to the RMSc-programme Bioarchaeology.


This seminar addresses, for example, the study of ancient DNA to explore the biological relationships between individuals and populations; to determine the sex of individuals on whom traditional methods do not work (such as young individuals), and to identify ancient pathogens and explore their dispersal patterns.

Course objectives

  • Basic knowledge of the theoretical background of different methods applied in bio-molecular research;

  • Hands-on experience in a laboratory environment;

  • Knowledge of the wide range of applications of isotopic data in modern bioarchaeological research being aware of the potentials as well as the restrictions of the different methods.


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

Mode of instruction

Lectures with practical exercises, discussion meetings, assignments, and reading list.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • lectures and practical exercises + discussion meetings (2 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Paper (1 ects).

Assessment method

  • Participation in discussions;

  • Presentations;

  • Assignments (research paper).

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

Reading list

To be published on BlackBoard.


Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory. For instructions, see the Registration in uSis page.


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


Compulsory attendance.