Topic outline

  • Course description

    This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to apply their medical knowledge to archaeological and/or ethnographic human remains from the University collections. This is a challenging perspective as you will be dealing with skeletal remains with no associated medical records.

    A number of projects will be made available prior the week before the course begins. Further context for these projects and the frameworks we use in archaeology will be outlined in the initial seminar. You will then have the flexibility to select one of the available projects in the first week (e.g. trauma, arthritis, bioarchaeology of care, infectious disease).  Under the guidance of the course coordinator, you will subsequently develop an approach to addressing your chosen topic, ultimately generating a report on your findings. Some of the projects will involve the analysis of actual ancient skeletal remains, others may focus on datasets. There will be an opportunity in Week 4 to report your initial progress to the rest of the group. You will submit your final report at the end of Week 6.

    This course is capped at 8 students

    Course coordinator  Dr Rebecca Crozier

    • What skills does the course develop?

      Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts information and issues

      • What will the timetable be like?

        2 x 2hr seminars and individual project supervision

        • How will I be assessed?

          3500 word report

          • Anything else I should know?

            You will need to be present in Aberdeen to access archaeological remains

            • What did previous students think about this course?

              Student view 22-23



              Student view 21-22


               "This was an incredibly enjoyable course, I’ve been interested in archaeology since I was a kid, so it was great to take a look at this discipline from a medical perspective. The case studies offered were really diverse and I liked that you were able to pick the direction your project took."

              "Loved the specimens we were allowed to choose from and found my project really interesting. Felt that the workload was manageable and the staff very supportive throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed." 

              "I am always interested in archaeology and this course provided me an opportunity to have a good insight into the subject. I had the opportunity to develop my own research question and the supervisors were very helpful in directing my research. It was very rewarding when I finally came up with an essay and as a medical student, I never thought I could do this. Overall, I enjoyed the course and thank you very much for organising this for us."