Programme Director Dr Umberto Albarella
Other core teaching staff;
This programme combines the study of human and animal bones from archaeological sites. These are generally known as 'human osteology' and 'zooarchaeology' or 'archaeozoology'. It gives the students the opportunity to focus on either, or both, research specialisms. The teaching is centred on the explanation of methods and theoretical approaches that can be used to address many different types of archaeological questions, regardless of the period or geographic area. The teaching will consist of both lab-based practical sessions and theoretical lectures. Students will benefit from exposure to leading research teams in both human and animal bones and will have the opportunity to engage in discussions with postgraduate and postdoctoral students and staff, both inside and outside the classroom. Students will play an active part in the shaping of their own programme of study and they will also have the opportunity to develop their own original research. Due to the prominence of the Sheffield research environment and its track-record in teaching and training, graduates from this programme will be in a prime position to continue their education or seek employment with research, educational or commercial organisations.
Eight core modules provide you with the key training in and understanding of Osteoarchaeology -
Human Osteology [15 credits] Provides you with a detailed examination of the human skeleton including structure and function of the skeleton, identification of bones and teeth, musculoskeletal markers, and criteria for distinguishing between human and faunal remains.
Biological Anthropology I [15 credits] Examining topics including the taphonomy of human remains, the determination of age and sex, skeletal growth and metrical variation, non-metric traits, bone microstructure andchemistry, and ethical issues in the scientific study of human remains.
Biological Anthropology II [15 credits] This module explores in detail the principal approaches by which knowledge of human skeletal variation can be applied to questions of human growth and development, functional anatomy, biological evolution, population affinities, palaeodemography, dietary reconstruction and changing responses to disease.
Method and Theory in Archaeozoology [15 credits] ou with skills in the identification and quantification of faunal remains: skeletal methods of ageing and sexing, recognition of evidence for butchery, pathology and taphonomic processes. A series of seminars (on, for example, sampling strategies and recovery techniques, past husbandry and carcass utilization practices, and the integration of evidence for plant and animal exploitation) situate these skills and knowledge in the context of past human practice
Economic Archaeology [15 credits]. A module analysing the origins, spread and evolution of farming; the role of exchange, trade and markets; subsistence and socio-political structure; archaeological reconstruction of diet, land-use, plant and animal husbandry; the impact of urbanization; and other subjects. It is integrated by a series of tutorials selecting a particular suite of topics.
Advanced Zooarchaeology [15 credits] All key zooarchaeological areas are touched upon but more complex aspects of methods and their applications than those taught in the foundation module will be presented and discussed. This module moves the teaching gradually towards full training. It is based on a variety of hands-on sessions, lectures, seminars and discussion groups.
Biomolecular Archaeology [15 credits] The module provides a broad introduction to the applications of bimolecular methods to the identification of biological materials in archaeology and to the investigation of questions concerning the evolution, artificial selection, diet, demography and disease of past organisms. It provides you with an advanced and current understanding of the theory and methods of biomolecular archaeology, as applied to research questions in human osteoarchaeology, zooarchaeology and archaeobotany.
Osteoarchaeological Assemblage Analysis [15 credits] This module consists of the study of an osteoarchaeological assemblage, which is undertaken individually by students, but with supervision. The students can choose between a human and animal bone assemblage. The students are first introduced to their tasks and parallel case studies, and then design a recording system, record the material, analyse the data and eventually interpret, write them up and present them to the rest of the class.
Finally, you complete a 60-credit dissertation on a subject of your choice. You can use this as a platform for the further study of topics/issues in your doctoral research, or simply to advance your knowledge and understanding of a key topic in osteoarchaeology.
A good degree (Minimum UK 2:1, US GPA 3.0) in a relevant arts or humanities subject.
For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS is the preferred test of language. You need an IELTS score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 in all the component tests. If you are unable to sit IELTS, you should take TOEFL. You need iBT 100, with a minimum component score of 23.