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Landscape Dynamics 1


Admission requirements



This course is an introduction into the rudiments of environment construction, in which attention will be paid to landscape formation processes, including soil formation and sedimentary processes.

It provides an introduction into the concepts and methodology of earth sciences, including climate change, that all archaeologists need to know and be able to apply in their archeological research.

This course explores the various depositional environments (rivers, sea, wind, ice, slopes), by means of processes and the resulting deposits, in which archaeological remains can be found.

Several basic definitions of the earth sciences will be addressed, amongst others the terms weathering and soil formation, palimpsest, hiatus, stratigraphy, depositional sequence, natural site formation processes, as well as their application in archaeology.

Course set-up

A central theme will be addressed weekly in a main lecture on Mondays, followed by tutorials, in which assignments are practised and discussed.

Course objectives

  • To introduce the discipline of earth sciences including basic terminology and concepts, such as soil formation, climate change and the various depositional environments and associated deposits;

  • To gain knowledge of the methods and techniques used to reconstruct palaeo-environment, including palaeo-climate;

  • To introduce terrestrial records for evidence of past environmental and climatic change;

  • To look at how environmental and climatic change has influenced humans' activity in the past and present;

  • To introduce the concepts of stratigraphy, relative dating methods and palimpsest.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Weekly tutorials.

You will take part in tutorial sessions, coordinated by Teaching Assistants (TAs). During these tutorials, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversations about various research topics. Alongside the TAs, the lecturers will also occasionally participate in the tutorials.

Course load

  • 7 x 2 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • 7 x 1 hour of tutorials (0.5 ec);

  • 200 pages of literature (1.5 ec);

  • Assignments (2.5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Written exam with open questions (80%);

  • Weekly graded tests in Brightspace (20%).

A retake is only possible for the written exam.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

The deadlines of the weekly graded tests can be found in Brightspace.

Reading list

Robert Christopherson, Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography. Global Edition.


The Administration Office will register all Archaeology BA1 students in uSis for their lectures and tutorials.
If you are not in Archaeology BA1, you can register for this course by e-mailing the Administration Office. Use your uMail, messages sent from private mail accounts cannot be verified and will not be processed.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace.

The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, you are not required to do this in uSis.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

All information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudent is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).


For more information about this course, please contact dr. J.A. (Joanne) Mol.


Compulsory attendance for tutorials only. Attending the lectures is highly recommended.