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Admission requirements



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.

Assessment method

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

At least 5.0 needs to be obtained for each exam. At least a 6.0 average or higher is necessary in order to pass the course (according to OER/Course and Examination Regulations).

A retake is possible for the each of the three exams.

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.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


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).