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Admission requirements

Landscape Dynamics 1 and Landscape Dynamics 2 obtained.


In this course you will be introduced to different biological methodologies, and you will learn how to interpret bioarchaeological data (botanical macro fossils, pollen, animal and human skeletal remains).
The course will be a combination of (video) lectures and practical sessions. The latter will allow hands-on experience with pollen and spores, botanical macro fossils, wood, and animal and human skeletal remains.

Course set-up

Short lectures with practical assignments.

Course objectives

  • Gain knowledge of the basic principles of taxonomy;

  • Gain knowledge of the (palaeo)biological techniques used to reconstruct landscapes, palaeo-environments and palaeo-climate;

  • Gain knowledge of how to use plant fossil assemblages to make palaeo-environmental reconstructions, consider diet, and agricultural activity;

  • Gain knowledge of the diversity of zoological remains and their skeletal elements (including mammals, birds, fish and molluscs);

  • Ability to identify, name and describe zoological skeletal remains according to the standards used in the subject field;

  • Gain knowledge of some archaeo-zoological techniques used to reconstruct the past;

  • Abilitly to identify and name human skeletal remains;

  • Gain knowledge of the osteoarchaeological techniques used to estimate the biological profile.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA2 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Practical sessions with mandatory assignments.

Due to COVID-19 measures in place, and depending on developments in the situation, the mode of instruction may change before or during the course.

Course load

  • 15 hours of lectures;

  • 30 hours of practical sessions.

Assessment method

  • Final exam: combining all three topics (botany, zoology and osteology), and practical and theoretical components (100%).

At least a 6,0 or higher is necessary in order to pass the course (according to OER/Course and Examination Regulations). A retake is possible for the final exam.
All assignments have to be completed successfully before you can participate in the final exam.

All exam dates (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA2 examination schedule.
Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Due to COVID-19 measures in place, and depending on developments in the situation, the assessment method may change before or during the course.

Reading list

To be published on Brightspace.


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.


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


Compulsory attendance during practical sessions.