Course Description

Course Name

Biocultural Human Skeletal Biology

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

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


An introduction to human bioarchaeology, particularly evolutionary and comparative anatomy of the human body, what makes it unique among other primates, and why it varies among populations. Includes aspects of forensic anthropology.

What makes humans unique to all other primates, and how did we come to be that way? How can we explain the variation in morphology among human populations? How can we use aspects of the skeleton of past people to look at their life history? This course explores these questions by providing an introduction to the study of Biological Anthropology of the human skeleton. The course primarily focuses on the evolution, structure and function of the human skeletal system, with an introduction to bioarchaeological and forensic methods.

Learning Outcomes
- Developed an understanding of the biological basis for human variation
- Developed a detailed understanding of human musculoskeletal anatomy, including the functional anatomy of joints and muscles, from bioarchaeological and forensic perspectives
- Developed an understanding of primate comparative musculoskeletal anatomy and how this relates to human evolution
- Develop an understanding of human bone and dental biology, specifically with regards to growth and development
- Develop an understanding the biological basis of sexual dimorphism in humans and how sex estimation is established in bioarchaeology and forensic identification
- Demonstrated the ability to observe, describe, interpret and communicate aspects of the human skeleton from a bioarchaeological, evolutionary and forensic perspective

*Course content subject to change