Postgraduate Course: Analytical Methods in Human Osteology (PGHC11230)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course teaches an awareness of the wide range of analytical methods that are applied routinely in the study of human remains, including ageing and sexing of individuals from bones, estimation of stature, isotopic analysis of ancient diets and radiocarbon dating of bone. The taphonomy of human remains will also be studied. This is a discipline aimed at reconstructing the post mortem history of a skeleton; it is the critical evaluation of bone assemblages that have been continuously affected by natural agents and human activity alike. Understanding the processes that have altered the preservation of human remains is essential to meaningful archaeological interpretation of osteological data. A special form of post mortem bone modification is burning. Cremation is of great cultural importance and identifying calcined bone takes special skills, which are also taught on this course.
The Analytical Methods in Osteology course consists of weekly lectures covering various aspects of skeletal analysis that form the basis of the discipline. Topics include an introductory class on ethical issues relating to human skeletal remains, methods on sexing, assessing age at death in both juveniles and adults, metrical analysis, dealing with cremated remains and full skeletal analysis are covered. These sessions are co-ordinated with the Practical Osteology course where students have the opportunity to practice the methods covered in lectures. In addition, there are 'awareness' lectures by specialists involved in scientific analysis of remains such as stable isotope analysis of diet, and strontium and aDNA analysis. Coursework takes the form of a class quiz and a 2,000-word essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|Prohibited Combinations|| Students MUST NOT also be taking
Analytical Methods in Osteoarchaeology (PGHC11131)
||Other requirements|| All students taking this course must attend the Health & Safety Awareness training session at the start of the semester. If this course is not on your Degree Programme Table you must seek the permission of the course organiser before being enrolled in this course.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 26,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment consists of essay and a 40-question short answer class test.
The essay should be 2,000 words and counts for 50% of the assessment, with the class test accounting for the other 50%.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate in an essay and class test a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning analytical methods in human osteology
- Demonstrate in an essay an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning analytical methods in human osteology, and conceptual discussions about the accuracy of osteological methodology
- Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
- Demonstrate in the essay originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
|Brickley, M. & McKinley, J. 2004. Guidelines to the Standards for Recording Human Remains. BABAO & IFA. (Available electronically on: http://www.archaeologists.net/modules/icontent/inPages/docs/pubs/humanremains.pdf )|
Buikstra, J.E. & Ubelaker. D.H. 1994. Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains: Proceedings of a Seminar at the Museum of Natural History, Organized by Jonathon Haas. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Series No. 44. Fayetteville, Arkansas
Mays, S. 2010. The Archaeology of Human Bones. Second Edition. Routledge. London
Roberts, C.A. 2009. Human Remains in Archaeology: A Handbook (CBA Practical Handbook. Council for British Archaeology
Schaefer, M., Black, S. & Scheuer, L. 2009. Juvenile Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual. Elsevier Academic Press
Van Beek, G.C. 1983. Dental Morphology: an illustrated Guide. Wright Elsevier
White, Tim D. & Folkens, P.A. 2005. The Human Bone Manual. Academic Press
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||AnaMethHumOsteo Analytical Methods Human Osteology
|Course organiser||Dr Kathleen Mcsweeney
Tel: (0131 6)50 2373
|Course secretary||Mr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
© Copyright 2016 The University of Edinburgh - 3 February 2017 4:56 am