ARCH2027 Bones, bodies and burials: osteology and comparative anatomy
This module examines the variation within the mammalian skeleton from an evolutionary and functional perspective. Additionally, it gives an overview of the main methodological and theoretical issues in the retrieval, treatment and interpretation of bone finds from archaeological sites and the relationship between humans and other animals. The module looks at patterns in bodily treatment and disposal, and the use and management of animal populations. It integrates practical study of human and animal bones with discussions of disease, diet, burial context, age and sex. It uses both practical sessions and lectures to develop your knowledge of mammal skeletons, and then project work to extend analyses into interpreting archaeological assemblages of bodies and bones.
Aims and Objectives
• Introduce students to the mammalian skeleton and its interpretation in archaeological studies • Develop student’s skills in the identification and observation of the various bones in human and animal skeletons • Introduce students to the variability that relates to sex, age, and pathology. • Familiarise students with the use of osteological data to produce technical faunal bone reports
The module aims to give the student an understanding of the mammalian skeleton and its interpretation in archaeological studies. The first half of the module will deal with the identification and observation of the various bones in human and animal skeletons; the second half will deal with topics such as sex, age, and palaeopathology.
Practical classes will give students the opportunity to learn essential identification of human and animal bones, ageing and sexing of bone material, and recognition of palaeopathological modifications. These gained skills will be assessed through the Practical Test and the Exam. The Bone Report will assess the understanding of students The exam will also enable students to demonstrate the attainment of the essential knowledge of the methods used in osteoarchaeology as well as of the wider theoretical context of osteological studies.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods include • Teaching methods include lectures and practicals • Osteology is a “hands-on” subject; where students play and active role in learning. An important aspect of the module will be studying specimens during practicals and in the bone lab outside of the module meetings. Learning activities include • Lab study • Report writing • Background reading
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Schwartz, J. (1995). Skeleton Keys.
Schmid, E (1972). Atlas of Animal Bones.
Davis, S.J.M. (1987). The Archaeology of Animals.
O’Connor, T.P. (2000). The Archaeology of Animals Bones.
White, T.D. & Folkens, P.A. (2000). Human Osteology.
Reitz, E.J. and Wing, E.S (2008). Zooarchaeology.
Osteological Reference Collection. Archaeology academic unit
|Online test (105 minutes)||50%|
|Report (2000 words)||40%|
|Online test (105 minutes)||100%|
Repeat type: Internal & External