Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Millenia between the Adriatic and the Danube

Course code: 89

Year of study: Without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Maja Andrič, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussions classes


Course Syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)

Pollen, which has been deposited in palaeoecological (lakes, swamps) and archaeological sites on wet soils, can be used to reconstruct the development of vegetation in different archaeological time periods.


Students will get acquainted with:


1. Basic palynological research methods:

  • the preservation of pollen and taphonomy,
  • selection of study sites and sampling,
  • storage and laboratory preparation of samples,
  • identification of pollen grains and plotting pollen diagram,
  • dating,
  • multidisciplinary research and cooperation with other disciplines.


2. Quaternary vegetation in Slovenia/Europe, with an emphasis on Lateglacial/Holocene and human impact on the environment.


Specific topics will be selected for each student (in collaboration with other lecturers/mentors, where appropriate) and adapted to his/her research interests and the theme of doctoral thesis. They may include:

  • Palaeoecology: long-term changes of the environment and ecological processes, the impact of climate, ecological factors and people on the vegetation
  • Quaternary vegetation: the composition and development of forests, fire regimes and human impact on the vegetation and landscape openness in various archaeological and geological time periods, migrations of Quaternary tree taxa
  • Palaeoeconomy: food and economy in archaeological time periods
  • Palaeoclimatology: Quaternary climate, comparison of ice, marine and terrestrial palaeoenvironmental archives, the influence of climatic fluctuations on the vegetation
  • Palaeolimnology: sedimentological processes, palaeohydrological conditions
  • Nature protection: knowledge about long-term environmental changes can help us to better plan nature protection/restoration measures



Basic literature:

  • Andrič M., Tolar T., Toškan B. 2016. Okoljska arheologija in paleoekologija: palinologija, arheobotanika in arheozoologija. Založba ZRC in Inštitut za arheologijo ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana.
  • Moore P. D., Webb J. A. & Collinson M. E. 1991. Pollen Analysis. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
  • Faegri K., Iversen J. 1989. Textbook of Pollen Analysis. The Blackburn Press, Caldwell.
  • Pearsall D. M. 2000. Paleoethnobotany (A Handbook of Procedures). Academic Press, London.
  • Smol J. P., Birks H. J., Last W. M. (eds.) 2012. Tracking Environmental Changes Using Lake Sediments. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
  • Identifikacijski ključi / ID keys:
  • Moore et al. 1991. (glej zgoraj /see above)
  • Reille M. 1992. Pollen et spores d’Europe et d’Afrique du Nord, Laboratoire du Botanique Historique et palynologie, Marseille
  • Beug H. J. 2004. Leitfaden der Pollenbestimmung, Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München.

Papers in journals:

  • The Holocene, Quaternary Science Reviews, Quaternary Research, Journal of Quaternary Science, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Journal of Archaeological Science

Planning your research and writing:

  • Booth W. C., Colomb G. G. & Wiliams J. M. 1995. The Craft of Research. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.


Objectives and competences

Students will acquire basic knowledge about palynological research methods, the Quaternary environment/vegetation in Europe/Slovenia, economy and human impact on the environment in various archaeological time periods. They will be qualified to collaborate with palynologists and archaeologists studying archaeological sites on wet ground.


This course will be largely based on specialised and supervised research. The selection of topics will be adapted individually according to student’s research interests and needs. Students with palynology as the main topic of their research will be qualified to independently carry out palynological research.


Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course students will be able to understand the main environmental processes and causes for changes of past and current environment. This knowledge will enable them to critically read, analyse and interpret the literature and be aware of possibilities and limitations of selected research methods and theories. They will be qualified to communicate with experts from other fields of research, and take part in interdisciplinary basic and applied research projects.


In addition to the knowledge/understanding stated above, students specialising in palynological research will be able to independently carry out palynological research (including selection of study site, fieldwork, laboratory treatment of samples, identification of pollen grains, analysis and interpretation of the data) and publication of the results.



Long written assignment (70 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (10 %).


Archaeological Analyses of Iron Age Non-Ceramic Finds

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Archaeology of Early Medieval Period

Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Štular, Ph.D.,


From Small Archaeological Finds to History

Assoc. Prof. Janka Istenič, Ph.D.,


Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Sites

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,



Assist. Prof. Maja Andrič, Ph. D. ,


Roman Towns between the Adriatic and the Danube River

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,



Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,


The Neolithic and Eneolithic Periods in the Northern Adriatic

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


The Pile-Dwelling Period in the Southeastern Alpine Region

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Tool Hoards of the La Tène and Roman Periods

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,