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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Biomolecular Archaeology: the appliance of science (PGHC11428)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAnalytical techniques and scientific methods are increasingly used in the reconstruction of the human past. Molecular and isotopic analyses of human and animal remains are providing startling new insights into human evolution and prehistoric lifeways.
Course description In addition to providing a detailed explanation of these techniques, this course will focus on how these methods have been successfully applied to a multitude of real-world archaeological questions. Key themes that will be investigated include biomolecule preservation and sampling, prehistoric mobility and migration, the origins and development of
agriculture, dietary reconstruction, infectious disease, human evolution, and the fate of the Neanderthals. Current research questions will be examined through a series of case studies and workshops.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  9
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 16, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by means of 100% coursework.
Coursework will comprise one essay (2000 words - 50%) and one research proposal (1500 words - 50%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in coursework assessment and seminar discussions detailed knowledge of the molecular and isotopic methods employed in the analysis of bioarchaeological materials
  2. Demonstrate in coursework and seminar discussions an appreciation of the principal applications of scientific techniques in the reconstruction of the human past from bioarchaeological materials
  3. Demonstrate in coursework assessment and seminar discussions a critical understanding of the key issues, concerns and debates surrounding the application of scientific methods in bioarchaeology
  4. Demonstrate in coursework assessment and seminar discussions an ability to critically evaluate published interpretations of data
  5. Demonstrate in coursework assessment an understanding of the structure and key components of research proposals
Reading List
Brown, T. and Brown, K., 2011. Biomolecular Archaeology: an introduction. Wiley-Blackwell
Jones, M., 2001. The Molecule Hunt. Allen Lane
Matisoo-Smith, E. and Horsburgh, A., 2012. DNA for Archaeologists. Left Coast Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Catriona Pickard
Tel: (0131 6)50 2372
Course secretaryMiss Danielle Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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