Postgraduate Course: Practical Zooarchaeology (PGHC11459)
|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||The aim of this course is to introduce students to the study of animal remains from archaeological sites, covering practical aspects, analytical methods, data acquisition, and interpretative potential. Students will receive instruction in comparative skeletal anatomy and will gain practical experience identifying and analysing vertebrate remains. They will develop understanding of the ways in which animal remains can contribute to the study of archaeological sites and past human societies, with case studies drawn from diverse global regions and periods to illustrate techniques and major debates in zooarchaeology.
This course introduces students to the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. Students will be introduced to the key zooarchaeological methods applied to animal remains, from their excavation to laboratory analysis and data interpretation. Students will receive instruction in comparative skeletal anatomy and will gain practical experience identifying and analysing vertebrate remains. They will develop understanding of the ways in which animal remains can contribute to the study of archaeological sites and past human societies, for example through studies of taphonomy, environmental reconstruction and modes of human exploitation of animals, and be able to evaluate the nature and quality of this evidence. Case studies will be drawn from diverse global regions and periods to illustrate techniques and major debates in the subject, and demonstrate key insights into the evolution of human-animal relationships through zooarchaeological study.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 11,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
2000 word essay (focused critique of a selected zooarchaeological methodology) (25%)
2500 word written zooarchaeological report (synoptic and contextualised report of material studied in all laboratory sessions) (50%)
In-class timed test of animal bone identification (25%)
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning methods and applications of zooarchaeology;
- analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the investigation and interpretation of past human-animal relationships;
- develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course;
- demonstrate 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
|Albarella U and Trentacoste A (eds.) 2011, Ethnozooarchaeology. The present and past of human-animal relationships. Oxford: Oxbow Books.|
Baker P and Worley F 2014, Animal Bones and Archaeology: Guidelines for Best Practice. Swindon; English Heritage.
Bartosiewicz L and Gál E 2013, Shuffling Nags, Lame Ducks: The Archaeology of Animal Disease. Oxford: Oxbow.
Davis S J M 1987, The archaeology of animals. London: Batsford.
Driver J C 2011, Identification, classification and zooarchaeology. Ethnobiology letters, 2, pp.19-39.
Lyman R L 1994, Vertebrate Taphonomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O'Connor T P 2000, The archaeology of animal bones. Stroud: Sutton.
O'Connor T P 2003, The analysis of urban animal bone assemblages: a handbook for archaeologists, The Archaeology of York 19,2, York.
Reitz E and Wing E 1999, Zooarchaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Rowley-Conwy P 2000, Animal Bones, Human Societies. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Russell N 2011, Social Zooarchaeology: Humans and Animals in Prehistory. Cambridge University Press.
Sykes N 2014, Beastly Questions: Animal Answers to Archaeological Issues. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
- gather and critically assess relevant information
- extract key elements and meanings from complex data sets
- develop a reasoned argument, support it with relevant evidence, and communicate it appropriately and persuasively
- present their ideas and analyses in a coherent fashion
|Course organiser||Dr Robin Bendrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
|Course secretary||Mrs Ksenia Gorlatova
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349