Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05
This course will provide you with the knowledge and practical skills required to identify and interpret human remains from archaeological sites. In addition to archaeology these skills are invaluable for any skeletal studies, including paleontology, human and primate evolution and forensic sciences.
|Session||First Sub Session||Credit Points||30 credits (15 ECTS credits)|
Human remains are one of the most emotive relics of the past, presenting a tangible connection to our ancestors. Recovered from a variety of contexts they have the potential to provide us with a wealth of data e.g. age-at-death, biological sex, health, diet, life-style and mobility, they comprise one of our most significant archaeological finds. This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and practical skills required to identify and interpret human remains from archaeological sites. This course will be of value to any students interested in skeletal studies, including paleontology, human and primate evolution, forensic sciences, and archaeology. By providing students with the essential skills to conduct human skeletal analysis, this course may serve as a foundation for graduate dissertations and/or advanced graduate study within the discipline.
Human osteoarchaeology is a rapidly advancing field, with new methods and analytical techniques appearing constantly. Therefore, in addition to learning essential skills in the identification and interpretation of human remains, this course will provide students with an overview of more advanced approaches, such as aDNA and stable isotopes. 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. Finally, students will gain an appreciation of how to handle human remains during all aspects of recovery and analysis, from the field, to the laboratory, to curation. The extensive collections of the historic Marischal Museum are central to this course. The museum holds 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.
Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.
1 x Lab Report: Individual (50%)
1 x Lab exit portfolio: Individual (20%)
6 x Test of knowledge of skeletal elements carried out through hands-on with skeletons (5% each – total 30%)
There are no assessments for this course.
|Knowledge Level||Thinking Skill||Outcome|
|Procedural||Apply||Practical experience of the techniques used in identification and analysis of human skeletal remains (age-at-death, sex, stature).|
|Procedural||Create||Practical experience producing a report on an archaeological human skeletal assemblage|
|Conceptual||Evaluate||develop a critical understanding of the relevance of advanced analytical techniques such as ancient DNA and stable isotope analysis|
|Procedural||Evaluate||Gain a critical overview of the issues and debates surrounding the study of human remains and ethical considerations.|
|Factual||Remember||A working knowledge of the development and structure of the normal human skeleton|
|Factual||Remember||The ability to recognise and name all elements in the human skeleton|
|Procedural||Understand||Understand the application of techniques used to deal with more complex, commingled assemblages of human remains|