nl en



Admission requirements

Bioarchaeology obtained.


This course acts as the bridge from student to early career academic. Students will undertake their own small archaeo-/palaeo-botanical investigation involving the development of a research question(s) with an archaeological theme. These questions will be answered by sub-sampling a sample, extracting the fossils from the sample, fossil identification, data presentation and interpretation allowing the production of a written document (suitable for publication in an internationally refereed journal).

Course objectives

Plant macrofossils:

  • Know how to select which part of a sample can be used for analyses in the laboratory;

  • Extract fossil plant material from sediment;

  • Identify the fossils using reference materials;

  • Visually present data in a diagram;

  • Interpret the data and make reconstructions of past vegetation and environment.


  • Ability to use reference material to identify spores and pollen of a Quaternary site;

  • Ability to make a pollen-diagram;

  • Ability to interpret palynological data.

In general:

  • Ability to put your own results into context;

  • Ability to generate a manuscript that meets the scientific standards.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Laboratory supervision and regular meetings to determine how the paper is developing.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 × 3 hrs of class per week (introductory lectures and practicals afterwards).

Assessment method


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

Reading list

The reading list is to be compiled by the students.


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


For more information about this course, please contact dr. M.H. Field.