Accessibility statement

Human Bone Practical Skills 1 


Module leader: Malin Holst

Module Overview

This practical course will give you an introduction to the key basic skills required to analyse human skeletal remains. Initially, you will learn to identify human bone and lay out a skeleton in the correct anatomical position. This will be followed by a series of further practicals in which you will apply the main osteological techniques that are used to estimate age and sex in adult and age in non-adult human skeletons.
This module will provide a strong basis for further advanced osteological analysis, such as assessing pathologies, stature, metric and non-metric traits; these topics will be covered in the second human bone skills module.  


  • to provide hands-on experience of the latest techniques used in the osteological analysis of archaeological human remains
  • to demonstrate the systematic identification of different bones within the human skeleton
  • to demonstrate the principles behind and explain how to apply techniques to determine age and sex from skeletal remains

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module you should:

  • be able to make informed identifications of human skeletal elements
  • be able to assess age-at-death and sex from archaeological human remains
  • be aware of variability in skeletal preservation
  • have a greater appreciation of the level of detail and confidence with which human remains can be investigated and interpreted
  • be able to fill out standard osteological recording forms relating to the topics covered in the module

Malin Holst and students