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Admission requirements

  • Bioarchaeology or equivalent obtained;

  • This is a seminar with a limited amount of participants (25 students), for Archaeology students exclusively.


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 the BA2 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;/online video;

  • Practical sessions with assignments.

Course load

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

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

  • 300 pages of literature (2.5 ec).

Assessment method

  • Class participation (10%);

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

  • Open-book exam (online, 20%);

  • 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 open-book exam and the skeletal analysis + report.

The date for the final exam can be found in the BA2 examination schedule. 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 via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

  • Start registration for the BA2 seminars:
    Series 1: 14 September 2020, 07:00 hrs
    Series 2: 11 January 2021, 07:00 hrs
    Series 3: 22 February 2021, 07:00 hrs

  • The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, students are not required to do this in uSis.


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


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