Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05
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.
|Session||Second Sub Session||Credit Points||30 credits (15 ECTS credits)|
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.
Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.
Lab Report (50%)
Lab Exit Test (30%)
2,500 word essay (20%)
There are no assessments for this course.
|Knowledge Level||Thinking Skill||Outcome|
|Procedural||Apply||Understand how to use this data to interpret past human health through time|
|Procedural||Apply||Learn how to identify, describe and diagnose pathological change in the skeleton and dentition.|
|Procedural||Apply||Learn how to produce a report on an the ancient skeletal heath and disease of archaeological skeletons.|
|Conceptual||Understand||Knowledge of the causes of human skeletal disease in the past|
|Conceptual||Understand||An overview of the history and significance of palaeopathological studies|