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Human Bone Practical Skills 2   


Module leader: Malin Holst

Module Overview

This module will provide hands-on experience of human skeletal anatomy, concentrating on more detailed analysis of the skeleton, such as the identification of non-metric traits and metric skeletal analysis.  This module will focus on the identification of skeletal pathology and trauma in particular. 

As the module builds on to Human Bones Practicals 1, it is essential that students choosing HB2 have completed HB1.


In this practical course, we will be looking at the skeleton in detail.

  • You will develop a basic understanding of the considerable complexities of palaeopathological analysis
  • You will obtain an insight into the main disease categories and their different skeletal manifestations
  • You will become familiar with cremated bone and practice identifying small cremated bone fragments
  • You will learn to measure bones precisely and be able to apply basic morphometric techniques to human skeletons
  • You will learn to identify non-metric traits and become familiar with the more detailed landmarks of the skeleton

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:


  • Further develop their practical skills with regards to handling, identifying and assessing human skeletal remains
  • Become more familiar with detailed landmarks of the skeleton and try to apply these to identify cremated bone fragments
  • Be aware of the methods and accuracy required to measure skeletal remain
  • Consider prevalence rates and what they mean
  • Be able to apply simple statistical methods and calculations
  • Be familiar with the different disease categories
  • Learn which diseases cause which types of lesions
  • Learn how to describe the pathological lesions
  • Develop a basic understanding of the complexities of palaeopathological analysis
  • Be able to compile a basic skeletal report in which they will estimate age and sex, determine stature, record the dentition and identify pathology

Students examining human bones