Introduction to human skeletal remains: Osteoarchaeology investigations

Introduction to human skeletal remains: Osteoarchaeology investigations

ABOUT THE COURSE

This five-day course (Monday – Friday) is delivered at an off-site venue (Gloucester).

The course assumes no prior knowledge of either archaeology or osteology. It has a focus of post-excavation recording of the articulated and disarticulated human remains excavated from the Early Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) cemetery site at Sedgeford.

The course content is taught through short lectures or participative seminar sessions and practical recording sessions. During the practical sessions, attendees work in small groups of 2 or 3 to apply what they have learnt to the direct, hands-on study of skeletal remains, with the help and supervision of course tutors.

Students will learn how to identify human skeletal elements and how to record them. This will include learning how to estimate age-at-death and biological sex, take osteo-metric measurements for stature estimation, record non-metric variation, and describe pathological lesions. Students will also learn about the different causes of disarticulated and commingled human skeletal assemblages in archaeological contexts, the common challenges encountered when recording such collections as well as different approaches to recording and analysis. Attendees will also consider the potential of re-association of disarticulated human bone to the articulated skeletons within the SHARP assemblage. At the end of the course, participants will either give a short group presentation to the public, or prepare video footage for SHARP’s Digital Trenches, to summarise their newly gained knowledge and findings from their recording.

After completing the course, attendees are eligible to enrol as a Human Remains (HR) volunteer to work with the SHARP Human Remains Team at Sedgeford during the summer ‘season’ for any/all of the allocated weeks, subject to availability. You can book your place on a course and as a HR volunteer at the same time.

Please note that at the time of booking a place on the October course, any HR volunteer booking may be a provisional booking for the following summer with exact dates to be confirmed shortly after the October course runs.