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This course is an introduction in the rudiments of environment-construction, in which attention will be paid to the factors climate, substrate, vegetation and fauna. It also provides an introduction in several basic definitions of the ecology, in which amongst others the terms habitat, niche and territory will be treated, as well as their application in archaeology.

Course objectives

  • To introduce the discipline of ecology including basic terminology and concepts;

  • To examine theories that explain how climate has, is and will continue to fluctuate;

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

  • To investigate deep-sea, ice-core and terrestrial records for evidence of past environmental and climatic change;

  • To look at how environmental and climatic change has influenced Man’s activity in the past;

  • To apply what has been introduced in an archaeological setting with a case-study;

  • To think about how Man’s activity will alter climate in the future.


Course schedule details can be found in the propedeuse/first year time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Tutorial (responsiecollege).

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

Assessment method

Written examination (tentamen).

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

Reading list

J.J. Lowe & M.J.C. Walker, Reconstructing Quaternary Environments. ISBN 978 0582 10166 1.


Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory. For instructions, see the Registration in uSis page.

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

Registration ‘Contractonderwijs’

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. M.H. Field.