Environmental Archaelogy


Course Objective

Environmental Archaeology covers the interaction between humans and
their environment in the archaeological and historical past. Within the
course this broad scope embraces research covering a range of
environmental specialisms between science and archaeology, and will also
be highlighted from a humanities perspective.

Course Content

What are the main contributing disciplines and what is their respective
role in environmental archaeology? What are the biotic and abiotic
components of our environmental change in geological and archaeological
archives? How to use relative and absolute dating methods in
environmental analysis? The lectures will focus on: 1) the importance of
an integrated approach cutting across different specialisms to arrive at
a holistic view of a site and its environment 2) concept of
reconstructing palaeoenvironments and palaeoeconomies by identifying
micro- and macrofossils, 3) future perspective of the Anthropocene. Key
methodologies that will be discussed stem from archaeology,
archaeobotany, archaeozoology, forensic archaeology, palynology,
geoarchaeology, biological anthropology, as well as more synthetic and
theoretical approaches to the past human environment as well as to the
future Anthropocene.

Learning outcomes: 1. Student is able to understand key methodologies
and analyses used in environmental archaeology; 2.Student is able to
analyse certain environmental archaeological problems from field
examples in theassignments; 3. Student learns to analyse, interpret and
integrate environmental data and relate these to the reconstruction of
past civilizations as well as future projections; 4.Student oversees
details of contextual, geoarchaeological, bioarchaeological, and
geochronological tools necessary to investigate relationships between
humans and their environment over a range of spatial and temporal

Teaching Methods

Lectures will follow the main reference book (Roberts, 2014) augmented
with the Branch et al, 2005 book and additional literature that will be
made available via Canvas.
Group discussions, assignments, excursions, student presentations
(Technical Boxes, and final presentation), ‘Flip the Classroom’ and
‘Distance Learning’ methods are used to stimulate (inter)active learning
Please arrive on time; we will write a half absence if you are late and
a full absence if you are more than 30 minutes late. The excursions are
compulsory and both are preparing for in-class excercises.
We will communicate with you via Canvas. We will send e-mails only for
individual correspondence and for extremely urgent matters, so please
check Canvas frequently.

Method of Assessment

Final exam: 25%
One Group-and one individual assignment, each 12,5%
Oral presentation 25%

Entry Requirements

Science and Archaeology (200 level), or in Minor Programme


Roberts, N. 2014. The Holocene: an environmental history. Wiley
Blackwell, 3rd ed. required reading, main course book
Branch, N., Canti, M., Clark, P., Turney, C. 2005. Environmental
Archaeology; Theoretical and Practical Approaches (Key Issues in
Environmental Change); Published by Routledge, 2005; partly required and
partly facultative reading.

Target Audience

Students of minor Geoarchaeology; exchange students; History,
Archaeology, Earth Sciences

Recommended background knowledge

Basic knowledge in Earth Sciences and Archaeology

General Information

Course Code L_BEBAALG008
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. S.J. Kluiving
Examiner dr. S.J. Kluiving
Teaching Staff dr. S.J. Kluiving

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

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