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Material Studies 1: Practical


Admission requirements

Following lectures of Material studies 1.


Practical session accompanying Material studies 1.

During these practical sessions the students, working together in small groups, will be given a series of exercises concerning the determination of raw materials (such as the identification of stone types), the recognition and analysis of traces of manufacture and the basic description of the morphological traits of some key finds groups such as flint and pottery.

Course objectives

  • Ability to recognise different kinds of materials and classify them into major categories;

  • Familiarity with the properties of ceramics, metal, stone, flint, wood, bone, antler and other organic materials through practical exercises;

  • Ability to recognise the technological signatures from the common production techniques pertinent to the major categories of material culture: stone, flint, bone, antler, ceramics, metal, glass, wood and building materials;

  • Ability to describe the basic morphological traits of flint and ceramics.


The practical sessions will take place over the course of 2 weeks in January 2017.
See BlackBoard for group arrangements and time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 42 hours of practical sessions;

  • 140 pages of literature.

Assessment method

Two practical exams at the end of each block, in which the practical skills obtained will be assessed in individual tests for the main material groups. The tests will be graded and are submitted in BlackBoard.
The final grade is calculated after the 2nd block. The relative weight of the individual grades is set according to the number of lectures and practicals. Compensation between the individual tests is possible.
There will be a retake only in case of failing the final grade and only for the tests that have been failed.

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

Reading list

  • H. Martingell & A. Saville, The Illustration of Lithic Artefacts: A Guide to Drawing Stone Tools for Specialist Reports. (LSS occasional paper No. 3, AAI & S Technical Paper No. 9), 1988;

  • Syllabus (obligatory reading for Material Studies 1, lectures);

  • Additional literature is to be announced on BlackBoard.


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.

Please note: Students who want to take this course as an optional course, Contract course, or Exchange/Study Abroad course, can only do so in combinaton with the course Material Studies 1: Lectures.

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. prof. dr. A.L. van Gijn.


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