Human Skeletal Analysis

Module code: AR3076

Module co-ordinator: Dr Jo Appleby

The human skeleton gives us our only direct link with the people of the past. While pots, flints and other archaeological artefacts give us hints about what people did and how they live, the skeleton shows direct evidence of past lives and lifestyles. In this module you will learn the anatomy of the human skeleton and explore the kinds of information that can be retrieved from it:

  • How did people vary?
  • Did they get enough to eat?
  • What diseases did people suffer from?
  • What kinds of activities did they carry out?
  • How were their bodies treated after death?

In order to learn about the skeleton, you need to gain first-hand experience of working with skeletal material so this module is taught through a series of lab-based sessions. You will work with our reference collection of post-medieval skeletons from Coventry and produce your own osteological report at the end of the module.

Topics covered

  • Skeletal anatomy
  • Determining age and sex from the skeleton
  • Human variation
  • Human health and disease
  • Mortuary treatment

Learning

  • 10 one-hour lectures
  • 10 two-hour practicals

Assessment

  • essay: 3,000 words (45%)
  • skeletal report: 3,000 words (45%)
  • practical exam (10%)