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Laboratory Work for Archaeobotany and Archaeozoology


Admission requirements

  • Admission to the MSc Archaeology programme Archaeological Sciences, with Archaeobotany and Archaeozoology as first focus area, or admission to the RMSc Archaeology with a focus on Bioarchaeology.

  • BA3 Botany/Zoology specialisation course or equivalent level in analytical skills (to be determined by the examinator).


This is a practical course where you apply the knowledge of archaeo-/palaeobotany or zoology you gained in the 2nd and 3rd years of the BA-programme to the investigation of plant or mammalian remains from an archaeological or archaeologically relevant site.

You will determine the exact nature of the investigation yourself, with the help of the instructor. It will depend on your interests and the material available for investigation.

You will schedule the practical work of ca. 60 hours according to your own schedule, and you will receive coaching during the analysis.

Course objectives

Ability to:

  • determine and differentiate fossil plant or zoological material while unsupervised;

  • use scientific equipment, reference collections and literature to identify plant or mammalian fossils;

  • present archaeo-/palaeobotanical or zoological data;

  • interpret assemblages and reconstruct past vegetation, faunal community, palaeo-environment and draw conclusions about human/hominin activity.

Time schedule

To be determined individually.

Mode of instruction

Individual coaching and feedback based on:

  • One-on-one consultations between instructor and student;

  • Student-directed questions.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 60 hours of practical assignments in the lab (3 ec);

  • Scientific report of c. 3,000 words (2 ec).

Assessment method

Scientific report based on / including the analyses from the practical assignments (100%).

A retake consists of the improvement of the report within 6 weeks after submission first version, but only if the attendance requirements have been met.

All analyses and the report must be completed by the end of block 3 (if you have started your programme in September) or block 1 (start in February).

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

Reading list

Depends on the chosen field of investigation.


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 his course, please contact dr. M.H. (Mike) Field (Botany) or dr. L. (Laura) Llorente Rodriguez (Zoology).


Compulsory attendance.