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Archaeology (Research): Bioarchaeology

Bioarchaeology is an advanced research master track that provides in-depth instruction and training into modern, science-based archaeological research. Bioarchaeology in Leiden clusters 4 different subunits (Archaeobotany, Archaeo/Palaeozoology, Human Osteoarchaeology, and Isotope Archaeology), each with their own research focus and programme.

The Archaeobotany group investigates, for example, changes in vegetation and environment during the past 2.6 million years, as well as the taphonomy of plant macrofossils in lacustrine and fluvial depositional settings.

Eurasia is the focus of Archaeo/Palaeozoological research that covers a wide stratigraphical (time) range, from the Early Pleistocene to the Holocene. Biostratigraphical studies, palaeo-ecological studies, as well as taphonomical studies are executed; palaeo-economical studies are carried out mainly on Dutch faunal complexes from the Holocene, in particular, the Medieval age.

The Human Osteoarchaeology group focuses on the analysis and interpretations of

  • human remains from world-wide archaeology contexts;

  • behavioural and social facets of mortuary practices in past societies.

The Isotope Archaeology research programme particularly covers

  • the analysis and interpretation of stable isotopes of human and faunal remains from archaeological contexts;

  • dating projects, primarily involving radiocarbon dating, but also exploring other dating methods.

It is in the context of the research of the 4 research disciplines that you are asked to develop a research plan for your thesis. The programme includes laboratory work and it is possible to participate in Leiden field schools related to long-term research projects.

Track leader:
Prof. dr. Thijs van Kolfschoten