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

Postgraduate Course: Skeletal Pathology (PGHC11231)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryNumerous pathological conditions, especially chronic, long lasting disease, affect the human skeleton. Fundamental to the study of skeletal pathology is the understanding of how disease affects the body, as well as the skeleton. Disease processes, the main types of diseases affecting the skeleton, the identification, description and recording of pathological lesions, the recognition of pseudopathological traits caused by taphonomic agents, as well as the inherent limitations of assessing health and disease from skeletal remains, will be covered.
Course description This course aims to provide a broad introduction to the study of human skeletal pathology and takes the form of lectures and related practically-based sessions. The curriculum covers general principles of skeletal change in response to disease processes, followed by weekly lectures and practically-based sessions on a different classification of disease and/or skeletal change, including infectious, dental, metabolic and miscellaneous diseases, as well as trauma, activity markers and the analysis of mummified remains. Coursework takes the form of a 40-question short answer class test and an osteological report.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is available to students on the Human Osteoarchaeology (MSc) only.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 40 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
Osteological Report (60%)

Practical Exam:
Class Test (40%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the identification, description and possible diagnosis of skeletal pathology;
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning human skeletal pathology, primary source materials concerning the description and nature of skeletal manifestations of disease;
  3. Demonstrate an 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.
Reading List
Aufderheide, A.C. & Rodríguez-Martin, C. 1998. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Human Palaeopathology. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge

Burt, N.M. 2013. Identification and interpretation of joint disease in paleopathology and forensic anthropology. Springfield, Illnois, U.S.A. : Charles C. Thomas

Galloway, A. (ed.), 1999. Broken Bones: Anthropological Analysis of Blunt Force Trauma. Charles C Thomas. Springfield, Illinois

Ortner, D.J. 2003. Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains. Second Edition. Academic Press. San Diego

Roberts, C. & Manchester, K. 2005. The Archaeology of Disease, Third Edition. Alan Sutton Publishing. Stroud

Waldron, T. 2009. Palaeopathology. Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge University Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSkeletalPath Skeletal Pathology
Course organiserDr Linda Fibiger
Tel: (0131 6)50 2379
Course secretaryMiss Mel Baker
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
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