Understanding Zooarchaeology I

Now rescheduled for the 18th-20th January 2021 due to the current Covid-19 crisis. This three-day course uses interactive teaching methods to introduce you to the study of animal remains in archaeology.

ARC - The animal bone teaching collection, showing examples of modifications on bone by human or animal agents

The main aim of zooarchaeology is to understand the interaction between humans and animals, through the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. The Understanding Zooarchaeology I short course is aimed at students, professionals and enthusiasts and does not require any previous knowledge.

Teaching is delivered through short lectures, discussions, case studies and practical classes to provide an insight into the theory and methods that can be used to understand animal remains in archaeology.

If you already have a basic knowledge of zooarchaeology, you may benefit from enrolling in our more advanced Understanding Zooarchaeology II course.

For further information, please contact zooarch-shortcourse@sheffield.ac.uk

    Book online

    Leaflet [PDF]

    Provisional timetable

    Takes place Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th of January 2021. Days run from 9am-5.30pm.





    Introduction and 'get to know' session


    Excavation, washing, marking and storage

    Tours of the reference collection

    Coffee break


    What can body parts tell us?

    • Taphonomy and meat utility

    Lunch break


    Identifying animals

    • Classification
    • Examples of changing species trends
    • Case study

    Coffee break


    Identifying elements review (practical includes putting together skeleton)

    Q&A overview of the day




    Ageing animals: Teeth

    • Tooth eruption and wear practical

    Coffee break


    Ageing animals: Postcranial bones

    • Epiphyseal fusion practical

    Lunch break


    Identifying fish

    Coffee break



    Case Study

    Q&A overview of the day




    Micromammals, reptiles and amphibians

    Coffee break


    Sexing and Biometry

    Lunch break

    11 Quantification

    Bone modification and pathology

    Coffee break

    Case study

    Bone quiz

    Q&A overview of the day


    • Single course - standard: £200
    • Single course - student/unwaged: £140
    • Both courses together - standard: £350
    • Both courses together -student/unwaged: £240

    Book online

    Cancellations and refunds

    Refund requests should be made by email to zooarch-shortcourse@sheffield.ac.uk, no less than 7 days before the start of the course. We will endeavour to fill the course place, and in the event that a replacement is found a full refund will be made. If a replacement cannot be found a refund of 50% of the course fee will be made for cancellations made more than 7 days before the start of the course. No refund will be made for cancellations made less than 7 days before the course start date.

    At the discretion of the course organisers, and in exceptional circumstances, participants that are unable to attend can defer their enrolment until the next Zooarchaeology short course.

    If you are experiencing any difficulty please contact us as early as possible.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Information last updated: 6 August 2020

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