Having successfully completed the course Advanced Human Osteology.
The focus of this course is two-fold. First, this course emphasises the importance of understanding the suite of taphonomic processes that has an impact on the structure of a grave from the moment of deposition until the time of excavation.
Secondly, the effect of preservation and recovery of human remains is covered, as well as the importance of cultural understandings of funerary practices needed to situate osteological data within a broader archaeological and historical context.
Understanding of general taphonomic processes within the context of a grave;
Ability to apply these principles to case-studies from recent excavations;
Understanding of how to reconstruct burial practices;
To learn the possibilities and limitations of the interpretation of mortuary practices of past societies.
The course load will be distributed as follows:
Lectures (14 hours, 1 ects);
Laboratory work (10 hours, 0,5 ects);
Museum excursions (10 hours, 0,5 ects);
210 pages of literature (1,5 ects);
Written assignments (3,000 words, 1,5 ects).
Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.
Mode of instruction
The final grades are to be determined 3 weeks after the due-date of the last assignment.
H. Duday & M. Guillon, “Understanding the Circumstances of Decomposition when the Body is Skeletonized” (2006) in: Forensic Anthropology and Medicine: Complementary Sciences from the Recovery to the Cause of Death, A. Schmitt, E. Cunha & J. Pinheiro (eds). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press;
M.L. Goff, Early Post-Mortem Changes and Stages of Decomposition in Exposed Cadavers (2009). Exp Appl Acarol 49:21-36;
J. Pinheiro, “Decay Process of a Cadaver” (2006) in: Forensic Anthropology and Medicine: Complementary Sciences from the Recovery to the Cause of Death, A. Schmitt, E. Cunha & J. Pinheiro (eds). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press;
Articles and chapters posted on Blackboard by the instructor.
For more information about this course, please contact dr M.L.P. Hoogland.