Postgraduate Course: Biomolecular Archaeology: the appliance of science (PGHC11428)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Analytical 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.
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.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
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
|Assessment (Further Info)
|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%).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the biomolecular methods employed in the analysis of bioarchaeological materials
- demonstrate detailed knowledge of the principal applications of scientific techniques in the reconstruction of the human past
- demonstrate critical understanding of the key issues, concerns and debates surrounding the application of scientific methods in bioarchaeology
- demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate published interpretations of data
- design a research proposal
|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
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Catriona Pickard
Tel: (0131 6)50 2372
|Course secretary||Miss Martina Benkova
Tel: (0131 6)50 3533