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Admission requirements

  • Bioarchaeology or equivalent obtained;

  • This is a seminar with a limited amount of participants, for Archaeology students exclusively;

  • This is not an optional course for the Archaeology BA3 programme. If you want to take this course as an extra-curricular course in your programme, you should ask permission from the Board of Examiners. You can only be admitted with permission, with proper argumentation, and only if there are spots left.


Human osteoarchaeology is the study of human skeletal remains found in an archaeological context. Analysis of the human skeleton is absolutely integral to understanding the past, as it provides primary evidence of the people enacting and experiencing the world.

The focus of this course is the identification of human skeletal and dental remains, and then application of this knowledge to learn more about individuals and populations.

Course set-up

Each course day will consist of a short lecture/video, individual/group practical assignments, and a quiz/feedback on the assignment.

Course objectives

  • Ability to recognise and identify human bones and teeth;

  • Ability to estimate sex, age-at-death, and stature;

  • To become familiar with common pathological conditions;

  • To become familiar with the concepts and methods of isotope analysis, cremations, and activity markers.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture/online video;

  • Practical sessions with assignments.

Course load

  • 16 hours of lectures/quiz/video (1 ec);

  • 30 hours of practical sessions with assignments (1.5 ec);

  • 300 pages of literature (2.5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Practical anatomy test (bone bell ringer test) (40%);

  • Exam (25%);

  • Skeletal analysis + written report (35%).

There will be one final result for this course. For all assessments, at least a 5.0 or higher is necessary in order to pass the course. A retake is only possible for the exam and the skeletal analysis + report.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

For other deadlines, please see the course syllabus on Brightspace.

Reading list

Mandatory textbook:

  • The Human Bone Manual, Tim D. White & Pieter Arend Folkens (2005), ISBN: 978-0-12-088467-4.


Registration in uSis is mandatory. You can register for this course until 5 days before the first class.

Registration in uSis automatically leads to enrollment in the corresponding Brightspace module. Therefore you do not need to enroll in Brightspace, but make sure to register for this course in uSis.

You are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time. The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, you are not required to do this in uSis.

Start registration for the BA2 seminars:

  • Series 1: 27 September 2021, 07:00 hrs

  • Series 2: 17 January 2022, 07:00 hrs

  • Series 3: 28 February 2022, 07:00 hrs


For more information about this course, please contact dr. R. (Rachel) Schats.


Compulsory attendance. Students can miss no more than 1 class.