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Seminar Neandertal biogeography


Compulsory attendance


Prerequisites and restrictions

BA degree (or equivalent) in archaeology or a relevant discipline.
SAP and exchange students: admission after approval by the Graduate School of Archaeology.


This seminar zooms in on the geographical distribution of Neandertals, from the very first beginning of the lineage, more than 500,000 years ago until their demise, at 35,000 BP. Biogeographical theory, studies of Neandertal environmental tolerance and data on their adaptations are presented and discussed in this course, with an emphasis on how theories can be developed and tested in Palaeolithic archaeology. This seminar has been built around the PhD-research of the lecturer.

Learning outcomes

  • Obtaining knowledge of the field of biogeography;

  • Obtaining knowledge of Neandertal biology and environments;

  • Gaining insight in how to develop and test hypotheses in Palaeolithic archaeology;

  • Improving critical analysis of extant models;

  • Improving presentation skills.

Mode of delivery

After one introductory lecture and an extensive literature study, students have to write a paper with a critical review of the current models on the spatial distribution of Neandertals, present this paper for class and chair the discussion resulting from their presentation.


  • Active participation;

  • Written assignment;

  • Oral presentation.

Reading list

To be announced.

Time schedule

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