General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
ARCH - Archaeology
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
Billy Fitzgerald, Fiona Beglane
Programme Membership
SG_SAPPL_H08 201300 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_B07 201700 Bachelor of Science in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_C06 201700 Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology

This module introduces students to the basic principles of zooarchaeology.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain the basic principles on which zooarchaeology is based.


Demonstrate skills in the basic laboratory techniques used in zooarchaeology including identification of animal bones from various species and from different body parts, assessing the age and sex of animals,  and comparative anatomy.   


Analyse, evaluate and draw conclusions from data obtained in the laboratory and/or data presented in problem-solving exercises.


Define the principal methods used in zooarchaeology and identify when these methods would be applicable.


Organise and integrate theoretical and practical concepts presented into an overall view of zooarchaeology and explain the major applications in interpreting archaeological sites and landscapes.


Effectively communicate scientific principles to a peer audience.


Describe case studies of the application of zooarchaeology in interpreting archaeological sites and landscapes.

Module Assessment Strategies

50% of the assessment will be based on practical laboratory skills. This will ensure relevance to the world of archaeological consulting and research. The exam is designed to test the ability of the student to retain and to express the information gained during the course, while continuous assessment will provide ongoing opportunities to demonstrate the learning outcomes.

Indicative Syllabus

Anatomy including the composition and growth of bone

Estimating the number, age and sex of animals

Analysing assemblages of animal bone

Disease and injury

Preservation and excavation of bones

Origins, extinctions and introductions of species

Hunting, fishing and domestication

Animals in human society

Animals as a source of raw materials

Animals in religion

Insects in the archaeological record

Molluscs in the archaeological record

Birds and fish in the archaeological record

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
70 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
30 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Lab Practical Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 50 % OnGoing 2,3,7
2 Continuous Assessment Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % OnGoing 1,3,4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Written Exam Final Exam UNKNOWN 30 % End of Term 1,3,4,5,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Science Laboratory Archaeology Lab 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Archaeology Lab 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Essential Reading:

Davis, S. (2012) The archaeology of animals.  London, Routledge

Klein, R.G. and Cruz-Uribe, K. (1984) The Analysis of Animal Bones from Archeological Sites.  Chicago, University of Chicago Press

O'Connor, T. P. (2008) The archaeology of animal bones.  Stroud, Sutton

Reitz, E.J. and Wing E. (2004) Zooarchaeology.  Cambridge University Press

A more extensive reading list will be provided in the class.

Other Resources


Additional Information

Timetable as a 4 hour block in the archaeology lab (theory and practical) to maximise interactive mode of delivery of theory and practical and allow access to reference and replica materials.