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Ancient Foodways



Bachelor year 3.

Admission requirements

BA2 Bioarchaeology and Quaternary Geology (or equivalent level) obtained.


This course deals with the wide range of archaeological approaches to the reconstruction of ancient diets. A selection of different approaches will be presented by various guest lecturers who will highlight the potentials and limitations of each method.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the theoretical background of the different approaches used in palaeodietary studies;

  • Knowledge of the most common methods and techniques used in palaeodietary studies;

  • Understanding of the diversity of approaches in palaeodiet studies and awareness of the potentials as well as the restrictions of the different methods.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Weekly lectures which should be prepared for by submitting concise written assignments of 150 words. These discussion points will reflect on and critically evaluate the assigned literature.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (1 ec);

  • Ca. 140 pages of literature (1 ec);

  • 6 weekly written assignments (1 ec)

  • Essay of 2,500 words (2 ec).

Assessment method

  • Weekly written assignments (30%);

  • Essay on one of the techniques addressed in the case studies, including finding additional literature (70%).

If you fail the exam, there is an opportunity for a retake of the final essay only. This is only allowed when all assignments during the course have been submitted. Assignments cannot be retaken.

All exam dates (exams, re-sits, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA3 examination schedule.

Reading list

To be announced.


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

  • The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, students are not required to do this in uSis.

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. J.E. (Jason) Laffoon.