This UC aims to introduce students to various methodological approaches in archaeology sustained by the discussion of cross-cutting themes such as environmental modifications throughout human history, agricultural origins and intensification, variability of food resources and their relations with human settlement and landscape change, variability of human settlements and the mobility of communities.
At the end of this course unit, the learner is expected to be able to critically evaluate, explain and discuss the main methods of the auxiliary disciplines of archaeology today. It is also intended that the student can critically evaluate the need for the application of these approaches in practical situations and what added value can be acquired from them.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Catarina Maria dos Santos Guerra Tente


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


Albarella, U. (ed.). (2001). Environmental Archaeology: Meaning and Purpose (Vol. 17). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
Arnold, C. A. (2010). An introduction to paleobotany. S.l.: Miller Press.
Brothwell, D.R.; Pollard, A.M. (eds.). (2005). Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. New York: Wiley.
Gifford-Gonzalez, D. (2018). An introduction to Zooarchaeology. Cham: Springer.
Gilbert, A.S. (ed.). (2017). Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology. Dordrecht: Springer.
Price, T.D.; Burton, J.H. (2011). An introduction to archaeological chemistry. New York: Springer.
Reich, D. (2018). Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past. Who we are and how we got here. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Teaching method

The teaching methodology includes lectures and practical classes on the various aspects defined in the program, accompanied by presentation of images and illustrations of the subject, including videos and animations and other resources, as well as observation in the laboratory of various ecofacts and samples.
The subject will have a practical component, of field collection and observation.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Method - Commentary of texts to present in class(40%), Individual work in which case-studies are analised with presentation and discussion in class and delivery of written work.(60%)

Subject matter

  1. Main principles and concepts;
  2. Geoarchaeology: Archaeological record formation and the provenance of abiotic materials;
  3. Chronometry and dating methods;
  4. Palaeobotany: Reconstitution of landscapes and anthropic impacts. Plant resources and human use;
  5. Studies on paleodiets, mobility and human paleogenetic; Chemical analysis of archaeological materials;
  6. Zooarchaeology: Reconstitution and palaeoecological changes, development of human-animal interaction and use of animal resources.