General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
ARCH - Archaeology
ESCI - Environmental Science
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Billy Fitzgerald, Fiona Beglane
Programme Membership
SG_SAPPL_H08 201300 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_K08 201300 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology Add On

This module provides a theoretical background to the study of palaeopathological lesions and injuries commonly identified in human skeletal remains. It will also cover practical skills such as how to identify and describe different pathological lesions in the skeleton.

Learning Outcomes

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


Demonstrate an understanding of the different types of pathologies commonly identified in human skeletal remains.


Be proficient in accurately describing pathological lesions in the human skeleton.


Understand the inferences which may be made about a population through the examination of palaeopathological lesions, and understand the limitations of these data.


Develop effective written communication skills for scientific research.


Be aware of the wider significance of health and disease in interpreting past societies

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 continuous assessment will provide an opportunity to demonstrate depth of learning of the learning outcomes.

Indicative Syllabus

An introduction to palaeopathology

Review of basic demographic parameters

Congenital disease and developmental defects

Dental health and disease


Joint disease

Infectious disease

Metabolic disease

Non-specific indicators of physiological stress

Neoplastic disease

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Essay Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5
2 Continuous Assessment Lab book Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 50 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Science Laboratory Lecture - Archaeology Lab 1 Weekly 1.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Practical - Archaeology Lab 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self study 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Brickley, M. & Ives, R. 2008. The Bioarchaeology of Metabolic Bone Disease. London, Academic Press.

Cox, M. & Mays, S (eds) 2000 Human Osteology In Archaeological and Forensic Science. London, Greenwich Medical Media Ltd.

Mays, S.A. 1998a. The Archaeology of Human Bones. London, Routledge.

Roberts, C. & Manchester, K. 2005. The Archaeology of Disease (2nd edition). New York, Sutton Publishing.

Roberts, C. & Cox, M. 2003. Health and Disease in Britain: From Prehistory to the Present Day Stroud, Sutton Publishing

Rogers, J. & Waldron, T. 1995. A Field Guide to Joint Disease in Archaeology. Chichester, John Wiley and Sons.

Rogers, J. & Waldron, T. 1989. Infections in palaeopathology: The basis of classification according to most probable cause. Journal of Archaeological Science 16: 611-625.

Rogers, J., Waldron, T., Dieppe, P. & Watt, I. 1987. Anthropathies in Palaeopathology: The basis of classification according to the most probable cause. Journal of Archaeological Science 14: 179-193.

Schwartz, J.H. 1995. Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to Human Skeletal Morphology, Development and Analysis. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Walker, P., Bathurst, R., Richman, R., Gjerdrum, T. & Andrushko, V. 2009. The cause of porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia: A reappraisal of the iron-deficiency-anemia hypothesis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139: 109-125.

Weiss, E. & Jurmain, R. 2007. Osteoarthritis revisited: A contemporary review of aetiology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 17: 437-450.

Wood, J.W., Milner, G.R., Harpending, H.C. & Weiss, K.M. 1992. The Osteological Paradox: Problems of Inferring Prehistoric Health from Skeletal Samples. Current Anthropology 33: 343-370.


Other Resources


Additional Information

Timetable as a 3 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.