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Human Bone Practicals I - ARC00046M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Malin Holst
  • Credit value: 5 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module summary

This module will provide students with foundations in human anatomy, through identification of bones and teeth and techniques of ageing and sexing. You will be learning by using skeletons from archaeological contexts to gain genuine hands-on experience.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22
B Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • This module will provide students with hands on experience of the latest techniques used in the osteological analysis of archaeological human remains.
  • It will provide a strong basis for further advanced osteological analysis, including assessing pathologies, stature and metric and non-metric traits.

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:

  • Recognise different human skeletal elements.
  • Be able to the assess age-at-death and sex of archeological 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.

Module content

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 bones 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.


Task Length % of module mark
Practical Examination
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Practical Examination
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be available within 4 weeks

Indicative reading

Schaefer, M., Black, S. & Scheuer, L. (2009). Juvenile Osteology: a Laboratory and Field Manual (Amsterdam)

White, T.D. 2005.  The Human Bone Manual (Amsterdam)

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.