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AY5506: ANCIENT HEALTH AND DISEASE (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07


Course Overview

This course provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed in order to identify, and interpret, palaeopathological changes observed in archaeological human remains.  You will also gain an understanding of how such changes could have affected people in the past, and how, using a bioarchaeological approach, this data may inform the archaeological narrative.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Rebecca Crozier

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

In seeking to understand past life-ways, human skeletons form one of our most important archaeological finds. The study of human remains can provide detailed evidence for past population structure, human health, past cultural practices and worldviews and beliefs as well as the lived experiences of individuals.  Building on the human osteology module, this course aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed in order to identify, and interpret, palaeopathological changes observed in archaeological human remains. You will also gain an understanding of how such changes could have affected people in the past, and how, using a bioarchaeological approach, this data may inform the archaeological narrative.

Paleopathology, or the study of disease in the past, is an exciting and dynamic multidisciplinary field of study.  Therefore, in addition to learning essential basic skills in the identification and interpretation of pathological lesions, this course will also provide students with an overview of more advanced techniques, such as aDNA. Since the successful study of skeletal remains requires a hands-on approach, this course incorporates a strong practical component, with two thirds of contact time spent in the skeletal laboratory in the Marischal Museum. The museum holds extensive archaeological human skeletal collections from a range of regions and periods, including a large collection from the major medieval towns of eastern Scotland. These collections will be part of teaching and student projects.  Each student project will involve working with an archaeological skeleton and identifying, interpreting and presenting the paleopathology of that individual.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Science Laboratory during University weeks 25 - 35
  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 25 - 35

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

One 5000-word report (50%), one mini conference-style presentation and paper (20%), two class tests (15% each).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Feedback

None.

Course Learning Outcomes

None.

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