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MA internship Human Osteology



This internship in Human Osteology focuses on students applying their knowledge of human osteology to the analysis of skeletons from archaeological contexts.
Students are expected to be responsible for a minimum of 5 skeletons from the beginning to final stages of analysis. This will include cleaning, sorting, restoration, inventory, photography and measurement of skeletal and dental remains. This will be followed by the application of more advanced methods to determine age-at-death, sex, stature and body size, and the documentation and differential diagnosis of pathological lesions.
Results will be prepared following a standardised report format. Students will also learn how to enter data into a database like Access and generate queries to obtain summary results by entering data collected on a minimum of 15 skeletons.
In this way, students will contribute to ongoing research projects of the Osteolab at the Faculty of Archaeology.

Course objectives

  • Ability to determine and differentiate parts of the human skeleton while unsupervised;

  • Ability to use scientific equipment to collect standard anatomical measurements based on common skeletal landmarks while unsupervised;

  • To learn to create a detailed inventory of human remains using correct anatomical terminology;

  • Ability to apply advanced osteobiographical methods of age-at-death, sex, and stature and body size determination;

  • To practice the identification of pathological conditions and diagnosis differentials;

  • To learn how to use a database programme for osteology data management.

Assessment method

  • Completion of laboratory forms for 5 skeletons;

  • Completion of database entry of 15 skeletons.

Assessment deadline

All skeletal analyses and database entries must be completed by the end of semester 2, block 4.

Reading list

Data collection standards (articles, book chapters) are contained in shared binders in the Osteoarchaeology laboratory.