MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-18

SPRING SEMESTER 15 CREDITS
AAP6084 ADVANCED ZOOARCHAEOLOGY
CO-ORDINATOR: UMBERTO ALBARELLA
OTHER TUTORS: ANGELOS HADJIKOUMIS

MODULE OUTLINE

This unit is designed for students who have already taken a basic module in zooarchaeology (e.g. AAP661) or have equivalent experience and provides them with the opportunity to investigate the subject at a more specialised level. All key zooarchaeological areas are touched upon but more complex aspects of methods and their applications than those taught in a foundation module are presented and discussed. In other words this module moves the teaching towards full training – rather than merely educational – purposes. It is based on a variety of hands-on sessions, lectures, seminars and discussion groups..


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This unit aims to:

  • To allow the student to develop a sophisticated knowledge of zooarchaeology beyond basic, text-book knowledge
  • To provide the student with the necessary tools to link their knowledge of the material with an investigation of complex archaeological questions
  • To allow the student to develop a critical understanding of the range of zooarchaeological methods and applications currently available to the professional practitioner
  • To allow the student to experience directly the kind of application mentioned at the point above.

MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of :

  • Identify animal bones from archaeological sites at the body part and taxonomic level, including some cases of complex identifications
  • Apply the key criteria for the establishing of age and sex of the animal remains
  • Recognise human and natural modifications on animal bones and report them correctly
  • Undertake morphometric analysis and the consequent processing of the data so developed
  • Manipulate zooarchaeological data according to specific questions, therefore critically and selectively
  • Interpret zooarchaeological evidence taking into account its inevitable inherent biases

EXAMPLES OF LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES/TUTORIALS

Our lectures/seminars are highly participative and taught by leaders in their field.

  • Taxonomy and nomenclature: how to classify the animals commonly found in archaeological sites and understand their phylogenetic relationships.
  • Practice on the formalised recording of animal teeth and bones
  • Dealing with closely related mammal groups – equids, cervids, bovids, carnivores, rodents
  • Biometry and its potential in archaeology: case studies
  • The recording of human and naturally induced modification on bones.
  • The identification of bird, reptile, amphibian and fish bones
  • Domestic animals and their ancestors, methodological problems in their distinction
  • Revisiting all aspects of animal bone recording. Supervised practice on material

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

Advanced skills in the identification of animal bones from archaeological sites; high level interpretation of data patterns and use of quantitative information.


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type

Hours

Lectures 9
Laboratory Sessions 15
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 106

ASSESSMENT

Method

% of marks

Hours/Length

Bone test 40% 1 hour
Project report 60% Max 2000 words