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Admission requirements

Landscape Dynamics 2 obtained.


In this course you will be introduced to different biological methodologies, and you will learn how to interpret bioarchaeological data (botanical macro fossils, pollen, animal and human skeletal remains).

The course will be a combination of lectures and practical sessions. The latter will allow hands-on experience with pollen and spores, botanical macro fossils, wood, and animal and human skeletal remains.

Course set-up

Short lectures with practical assignments.

Course objectives

  • Gain knowledge of the basic principles of taxonomy;

  • Gain knowledge of the (palaeo)biological techniques used to reconstruct landscapes, palaeo-environments and palaeo-climate;

  • Gain knowledge of how to use plant fossil assemblages to make palaeo-environmental reconstructions, consider diet, and agricultural activity;

  • Gain knowledge of the diversity of zoological remains and their skeletal elements (including mammals, birds, fish and molluscs);

  • Ability to identify, name and describe zoological skeletal remains according to the standards used in the subject field;

  • Gain knowledge of some archaeo-zoological techniques used to reconstruct the past;

  • Ability to identify and name human skeletal remains;

  • Gain knowledge of the osteoarchaeological techniques used to estimate sex, age-at-death, and stature.


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;

  • Practical sessions with mandatory assignments.

Course load

  • 17 hours of lectures;

  • 36 hours of practical sessions.

Assessment method

  • One exam per topic (Osteology, Zoology, Botany), combining theory and practice, each counting for 33.3%.

At least a 6.0 or higher is necessary in order to pass the course (according to OER/Course and Examination Regulations). A retake is possible for the final exam.

All assignments have to be completed successfully before you can participate in the final 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.

Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Reading list

To be published on Brightspace.


Registration in uSis is mandatory. You can register for this course until 5 days before the first class.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace, but make sure to register for this course in uSis.

You are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time. The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, you are not required to do this in uSis.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. R. (Rachel) Schats.


  • Compulsory attendance during practical sessions;

  • Enroll in the same group number for Bioarchaeology and Geographic Information Systems (e.g. if you are in group 101 for Bioarchaeology, choose 101 for GIS as well).