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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. Moreover, it includes a discussion on the ethical treatment of human skeletal remains.

Course set-up

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

Course objectives

  • Understanding the ethical responsibilities and practices related to the study of human remains;

  • 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.


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;

  • Practical sessions with assignments.

Assessment method

  • Practical anatomy test (40%);

  • Exam (30%);

  • Skeletal analysis + written report (30%).

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, T.D. White & P.A. Folkens (2005), ISBN: 978-0-12-088467-4.


Registration start dates for the BA2 seminars differ from the registration dates of the regular courses.

Registration will take place with the use of Jotforms, which will be e-mailed to all BA2 students shortly.


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


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