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Laboratory work (Material Culture Studies)


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Admission to the MSc-programme Material Culture Studies.


The course will offer 3 different specialisations:
1. ceramic petrography (Braekmans)
2. technological and use-wear and residue studies by means of microscopy and experimental archaeology (van Gijn)
3. röntgen-based materials science (Dik, Delft).

The tutorials will give you the basic knowledge and skills to carry out the analytical work for your thesis topic.
1. The ceramic petrography course introduces students to the methodology and application of thin section petrography of archaeological pottery. By using principles of optical mineralogy and petrology, archaeological ceramic petrography focuses on provenance issues as well as on the reconstruction of ancient artisanal technology.
2. the microscopic study of objects reveals traces of manufacturing, use and treatment of objects that are otherwise not apparent. Students will learn to use stereomicroscopes, incident light microscopy and transmitted light microscopes to distinguish these traces. Experiments are central in this tutorial.
3. Analysis of material objects by X-ray equipment provides high resolution chemical composition data which can disclose macroscopically hidden information. This technique can be applied on various inorganic materials for characterisation and provenance applications.

Course objectives

Familiarity with analytical techniques to obtain detailed information about artefact biographies.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Individual tutorials in laboratory context.

Assessment method

  • Written examination;

  • Incidental tests during tutorials.

Assessment deadline

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

To be announced (varies per specialisation).


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw. prof. dr. A.L. van Gijn.