Advanced Human Osteology (ARCM405)

StaffDr Catriona Mckenzie - Lecturer
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.50
NQF Level7
Pre-requisitesARCM414 Musculo-Skeletal Anatomy
Co-requisitesnone
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module forms an in-depth study of human remains from archaeological contexts that are also applicable to those encountered in forensic contexts. It consists of a consideration of the history of the discipline of biological anthropology, pathological processes, and the physical anthropological techniques employed in the analysis of the human skeletal material with emphases on the metric and non-metric characterisation of skeletal shape and size, and application of demographic reference standards for age and sex determination and population affinity. The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge to assess human remains at both individual and population levels and to interpret the pathological and demographic data in the light of their archaeological or forensic context. It also provides an introduction to the means by which to investigate human health and well-being of past human groups through an emphasis on the identification, description, and recording of pathological lesions in human skeletal remains.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Master key concepts of human osteology
  • 2. Use terms and conventions commonly employed in biological anthropology accurately
  • 3. Demonstrate competence in the use of osteoarchaeological standards for the assessment of human skeletal remains
  • 4. Demonstrate familiarity with methods of identification, description and diagnosis of pathological change in the skeleton and dentition

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Show initiative in interpreting a variety of information forms
  • 6. Be aware of how human remains integrate with other aspects of archaeological enquiry
  • 7. Experience of a wide range of practical skills at an advanced level

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Demonstrate competence in summarizing published research
  • 9. Demonstrate competent knowledge base in written wor
  • 10. Demonstrate mastery of academic discourse, both oral and written
  • 11. Demonstrate competence in the performance of laboratory protocols

Syllabus plan

The course will start with an introduction to biological anthropology. Each week the students cover different topics and learn the practical skills necessary to analyse human skeletal remains. The course covers estimation of sex, age and stature and then outlines the palaeopathological lesions which may be identified in human skeletal remains. 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
441060

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Lectures (11 x 2 hrs)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Laboratory sessions (11 x 2 hrs)
Guided independent study106private study

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Skeletal Report 1004,000 words plus appendix1-11verbal and written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Skeletal ReportSkeletal Report 4000 words plus appendix1-11referred/deferred period

Re-assessment notes

Re-assessment will be through the completion of a skeletal report (4,000 words).

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Aufderheide, A.C. and Rodriquez-Martin, C. (1998). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK).

Baker, B.J., Dupras, T.L., and Tocheri, M.W. (2005). The Osteology of Infants and Children. Texas A & M University Press. College Station (TX).

Bass, W.M. (1987). Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual. Missouri Archaeological Society, Columbia (MO).

Buikstra, J.E. and Beck, L.A. (eds.) (2006). Bioarchaeology: The Contextual Analysis of Human Remains. Academic Press, Amsterdam.

Buikstra, J.E. and Ubelaker, D.H. (eds.) (1994). Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville (AR).

Cox, M. and May, S. (eds.) (2000). Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science. Greenwich Medical Media, London.

Hillson, S. (1986). Teeth. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK). Hillson, S. (1996). Dental Anthropology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK).

Krogman, W.M. and Iscan, M.Y. (1986). The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine. Charles C. Thomas Publishers, Springfield (IL).

Larsen, C.S. (1997). Bioarchaeology. Interpreting Behaviour from the Human Skeleton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Gowland, R. and Knsel, C.J. (eds.) 2006. Social Archaeology of Funerary Remains. Oxbow Books, Oxford. Mays, S. (1998). The Archaeology of Human Bones. Routledge, London.

Ortner, D.J. (2003). Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains. (Second Edition). Academic Press, Amsterdam.

Roberts, C.A. and Cox, M. (2003). Health and Disease in Britain: From Prehistory to the Present Day. Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Roberts, C.A. and Manchester, K.M. (2005). The Archaeology of Disease. Alan Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucester (UK).

Saunders, S.R., Katzenberg, M.A. (eds.) (2008). Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton. Wiley, New York.

van Beek, G.C. (1983). Dental Morphology: An Illustrated Guide. (Second Edition). Wright, Oxford.

White, T.D. and Folkens, P.A. (1999). Human Osteology. Academic Press, New York. (most recent edition) Indicative web based resources

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

http://www.babao.org.uk/ (British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology)

http://www.babao.org.uk/index/ethics-and-standards

http://www.babao.org.uk/HumanremainsFINAL.pdf http://physanth.org/ (American Association of Biological Anthropologists)

http://www.bahid.org/ (British Association for Human Identification)

http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~chan/capa/ (Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology/L'Association Canadienne d'Anthropologie Physique) Other resources: Fordisc, Cranid

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

2011

Last revision date

26/05/2015

Key words search

Archaeology, Human Osteology, Biological, Anthropology, Bioarchaeology