Accessibility statement

Practical: Human Bones - ARC00004I

« Back to module search

  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Paola Ponce
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

This module builds on the first year module Introduction to Archaeological Science where students have been introduced to the scientific methods used in the study of human skeletal material.

Through the term, students will be expected to develop their skills in critiquing a specialist report (students write their own specialist report in the co-requisite module the following term so it is important that they understand good practice). The formative assessment is designed to provide training and a similar summative assessment is handed in at the end term. Students will be encouraged to keep a lab notebook during term (which will help when it comes to the Team Project in the summer term) and they will be assessed on the practical skills they have acquired during practical sessions through the term in a class test.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

  • This module aims to give laboratory experience in studying human skeletal and dental remains
  • Demonstrate the important and useful contribution that bioarchaeology can make to the wider discipline of archaeology
  • To develop a familiarity with the human skeleton
  • To understand the information potential and limitations of human bone analysis

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Be familiar with human anatomy and learn the names of the bones in the human skeleton
  • Assess age and sex of human remains
  • Learn how to calculate living height and identify non-metric traits
  • Identify, describe and diagnose some pathological lesions
  • Critically evaluate specialist osteological reports
  • Explore developments in osteology and palaeopathology
  • Analyse age, sex and pathology of an archaeological skeleton and produce a report on the results
  • Learn how to interpret the results of skeletal analysis


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 50
Specialist Report Critique
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 50
Specialist Report Critique
N/A 50

Module feedback

Arrangements for the return of feedback are detailed on the formative and summative assessment web pages.

Indicative reading

Reading lists are accessible through the module web pages and VLE.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.