Zooarchaeology MSc Relaunched

Posted on 1 December 2015

New director David Orton integrates the latest scientific techniques with the study of Zooarchaeology at York

York has a long tradition of pioneering zooarchaeological research and teaching, and has offered a dedicated MSc programme in Zooarchaeology since 2000. To coincide with the recent festschrift conference for the the programme's founder, Prof. Terry O'Connor, we are proud to announce a re-design and re-launch of the MSc in Zooarchaeology, aimed at incorporating the latest techniques and expertise available at York.

Housed within BioArCh, York's world-leading centre for research into ancient biomolecules, the MSc in Zooarchaeology also draws heavily on the expertise of functional and comparative anatomists from the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences, part of the Hull York Medical School.

The new programme director Dr. David Orton - himself an alumnus of the course - said:

"Here at York we now have an unrivalled concentration of expertise in the analysis of ancient bone, and the facilities to match: from proteomics to geometric morphometrics, stable isotopes to ancient DNA - all alongside our traditional strengths in vertebrate identification, taphonomy, and zooarchaeological interpretation. The re-launched MSc in Zooarchaeology takes full advantage of these strengths, to offer students a truly comprehensive programme.

Zooarchaeology is changing. Scientific techniques such as stable isotope analysis, genetics, and digital modelling, once considered outside specialisms, are becoming increasingly central to the discipline. We wanted to design a programme that would reflect this, enabling us to produce graduates who are ahead of the trend. York is still the place to come to learn the traditional tools of the zooarchaeologist's trade, but students now have the opportunity to explore and potentially speciliase in a world-leading range of biomolecular and digital approaches."

The updated MSc will take advantage of BioArCh's new facilities in the state-of-the-art Environment Building, due to open in January 2016, including the brand-new Terry O'Connor Laboratory for Zooarchaeology.

Full details of the relaunched programme will be available on our web pages shortly. For more information, contact david.orton@york.ac.uk.