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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Seeing stories in bone

Our life experiences leave an imprint on our skeleton. An understanding of the human skeleton, its variability and how changes manifest themselves enable archaeologists and forensic anthropologists to unearth a body of evidence about individuals and populations. The size and shape of the skeleton enable the estimation of sex, age and height. Information regarding about individual life histories can be inferred from osteological changes caused by disease and injury. Today this is being achieved through the use of state-of-the-art tools and techniques.

Seeing Stories in Bone
Book Course

Course Code: LLLSIB

Course Dates: a 6 week-course from 13 October 2016 - 17 November 2016 (19.00 to 21.00)

Course Leader: Christianne Fernee


The 6 weeks of the module will be broken down into a series of themes, which will introduce the osteological methods and then place these in context into archaeological and forensic case studies. 


Topics to be explored will typically include


Introduction to the human skeleton

- This session will give a brief overview of the human skeleton, the names of the bones and some of their main features.


 – Analysis of age and sex

- You will be introduced to some of the methods that can be used to estimate age and sex in human skeletons.

- During the practical part of the session you will get the opportunity to attempt assessing age and sex of some skeletons themselves. This will enable you to reflect on some of the problems that might be/are encountered with these methods.

Dental Anthropology

- What can teeth tell us?

Trauma and Disease

- You will be introduced to a variety of diseases and trauma and how they manifest themselves on bone.

- You will also be introduced to the different methods that are used to record different diseases.

- During the practical they will get the opportunity to ‘diagnose the disease.’

Skeleton on fire/ Microscopic Signals

- You will be introduced to what happens to human bone when it is subjected to high temperatures of cremation and what adaptions have to be made when looking at these bones.

- You will also be introduced to the different signals that are held within bone and the plethora of information that you can get out of it, from where the person grew up, to what their diet was like.

Seeing the human body

- You will be introduced to the different methods/tools that can be used to analyse and visualise human remains

Most of the sessions will be broken down into a short presentation of the key ideas/methods relating to the week’s theme. This will be followed by a practical session, allowing hands-on experience with the bones. During this, the aim will be to generate a discussion about the methods that are being used. Finally, the methods will be placed into context with archaeological and forensic case studies.


Booking Information

Please note that your course will only run if it receives a sufficient number of bookings . This will be confirmed closer to the start date of the course. If your course is cancelled due to insufficient booking numbers, you will receive a full refund. Please note that the booking/payment confirmation that you receive should not be taken as a guarantee that the course will run. This confirmation will be sent to you separately once it has been established that the course will go ahead.

If you select the staff or student price option, you must use an online store account that has been set up with your University email address and fill out your University staff or student ID number when prompted as part of the questionnaire data section.

Unfortunately, you can only select the staff or student price option if you are a full time/ part time student of the University or staff member. This discount is not available if you have taken a Lifelong Learning evening course before.


Standard Fee


Student / Staff Discount


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