Course Description

Course Name

Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Biological variation of the human skeleton. Application of the theory and methods of analysis used to study morphological and genetic variation and health in human skeletal remains excavated from archaeological sites.

Have you ever wanted to know how and why we assess past human life ways from human skeletons? What do experts assess in archaeological and forensic situations? This course will take you through a detailed investigation of biological and cultural adaptation of human populations as reflected in the skeleton to understand human health and history. Topics include growth variation, age and sex assessment, ancient disease, and ancient DNA and isotope analyses of human variation.

Learning Outcomes
- Developed a detailed understanding of the process of changes with age and the basis of sexual dimorphism in the adult human skeleton, and how and why these vary among individuals and populations
- Developed a detailed understanding of the evolution and variability of human growth and development and developed an ability to apply this understanding in interpreting evidence from the skeleton of an infant or child
- Developed a detailed understanding of the response of the human skeleton to disease and injury
- Developed a detailed understanding of the use of molecular anthropology in skeletal analysis
- Demonstrated ability to interpret evidence of age at death, sex, ancestry and health and disease in a human skeleton, and to understand the limitations of this process
- Demonstrated ability to locate literature on a relevant topic, and to synthesise and critically analyse the publications
- Developed an understanding of the application of skeletal analysis to the interpretation of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites

*Course content subject to change