Zoology Laboratory (Room 124b)

Under the supervision of Prof. dr. Thijs van Kolfschoten fossil remains of Pleistocene and Holocene small and large mammals, from different archaeological excavations, are investigated in this laboratory.

Zooarchaeological analysis

The zoology laboratory houses an extensive reference collection which is used for the identification of fossil bones. The collection is also used for teaching students anatomy of different animals. Research is carried out on the remains of small and large mammals as well as fishes and birds. The laboratory conatins a number of advanced Leica stereomicroscopes and measuring instruments used for teaching and research purposes.

A typical report based upon a faunal assemblage will include the following information:

  • An inventory of the bones, including species and bone parts, and additional data on Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI), Minimum Number of Elements (MNE) (which equals the minimum number of bone parts) and Number of Identified Specimens (NISP)
  • Ageing data, based upon epiphyseal fusion, dental eruption and tooth wear,
  • Sexing data, based upon bone morphology,
  • Biometrical data,
  • Taphonomy (including weathering, gnawing, butchery, burning and related processes),
  • Palaeopathology.

Palaeozoological research projects

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Palaeozoological research covers a wide stratigraphical (time) range, from the Early Pleistocene to the Holocene. The Pleistocene studies have their focus on Europe. At the moment there are four major projects in which staff and students participate. These are:

  • Collapse of the Mamoth Steppe Ecosystem (COMSEC) in the Arctic region north of approximately 60 °N latitude – Pleistocene-Holocene transition
  • Germany, Buhlen and Sesselfels – Late Pleistocene
  • Germany, Schöningen – late Middle Pleistocene
  • Netherlands, Tegelen-Maalbeek – Early Pleistocene
  • Netherlands, Woerden – Pleistocene

The Holocene archaeozoological work mainly focuses on faunal assemblages from Dutch sites.


Dhr. André Ramcharan
(+31) (0)71-5272940

Laboratory for Archaeozoological Studies
Einsteinweg 2 (ground floor D-wing)
2333 CC Leiden
The Netherlands

Last Modified: 05-01-2016