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Earth sciences



This is an introduction in Earth Sciences, in which the theoretical concepts of Earth Sciences that are used in archaeology are explained (= geoarchaeology). Also, natural processes that play a role in landscape formation (geosystems) are discussed.

Course objectives

  • Basic knowledge of the theoretical principles of geoarchaeology (such as stratigraphy, soil formation, sedimentology);

  • Insight in the theoretical principles of geoarchaeology;

  • Knowledge of nomenclature of environments and landforms;

  • Knowledge of the evolution of a landscape, its terminology;

  • Ability to apply the geological terminology in a correct way.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Weekly assignments on BlackBoard (for bonus point).

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 hours of lectures;

  • 200 pages of literature;

  • Assignments.

Assessment method

Written examination with essay-type questions (100%).

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

Reading list

R.W. Christopherson & G.H. Birkeland, Geosystems. An Introduction to Physical Geography. 9th edition (2014). ISBN 978-1-292-05775-0.


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 mw. dr. J.A. Mol.


This course has two versions: one taught in Dutch, the other taught in English.