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Laboratory work for Archaeobotany and Archaeozoology


Admission requirements

BA3 Botany/Zoology specialisation course or equivalent level in analytical skills (to be determined by the examinator).


This is a practical course where you apply the knowledge of archaeo-/palaeobotany or zoology you gained in the 2nd and 3rd years of the BA-programme to the investigation of plant or mammalian remains from an archaeological or archaeologically relevant site.

You will determine the exact nature of the investigation yourself, with the help of the instructor. It will depend on your interests and the material available for investigation.

You will schedule the practical work of ca. 60 hours according to your own schedule, and you will receive coaching during the analysis.

Course objectives

Ability to:

  • determine and differentiate fossil plant or zoological material while unsupervised;

  • use scientific equipment, reference collections and literature to identify plant or mammalian fossils;

  • present archaeo-/palaeobotanical or zoological data;

  • interpret assemblages and reconstruct past vegetation, faunal community, palaeo-environment and draw conclusions about human/hominin activity.

Time schedule

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

Mode of instruction

Individual coaching and feedback based on:

  • One-on-one consultations between instructor and student;

  • Student-directed questions.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 60 hours of practical assignments in the lab (3 ec);

  • Scientific report of c. 3,000 words (2 ec).

Assessment method

Scientific report based on / including the analyses from the practical assignments (100%).

All analyses and the report must be completed by the end of block 3 (if you have started your programme in September) or block 1 (start in February).

All exam dates (exams, re-sits, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the MA and MSc examination schedule.

Reading list

Depends on the chosen field of investigation.


Registration for the course or the exam is not required.


For more information about his course, please contact dr. M.H. Field (Botany) or prof. dr. M. van Kolfschoten (Zoology).


Compulsory attendance.