MODULE DESCRIPTION 2019-20

AUTUMN SEMESTER 15 CREDITS
AAP661 ARCHAEOZOOLOGY
CO-ORDINATOR: UMBERTO ALBARELLA
OTHER TUTORS:   ANGELOS HADJIKOUMIS

MODULE OUTLINE

Zooarchaeology (or Archaeozoology) is the study of past human interaction with animals through the analysis of their material remains. This module provides a practical introduction to the identification, analysis and interpretation of animal bones from archaeological sites. Practical skills are developed through group laboratory work, concentrating on mammals but also touching on other classes of vertebrates. Methodological and theoretical issues in archaeological interpretation are discussed in the classes in combination with the hands-on work. The course culminates in a project report, which reconstructs animal exploitation through the analysis of anatomical and ageing data.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This module aims to:
• provide students with an understanding of what zooarchaeology is and what is its relationship with other disciplines;
• clarify the archaeological questions to which zooarchaeology can provide a contribution;
• discuss and apply methods and techniques commonly used in zooarchaeology;
• gain an understanding of the basic issues relevant to zooarchaeological interpretation.


MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
• acquire an understanding of the potential insights into the human past to be derived from zooarchaeological studies of animal bones;
• develop practical skills in approaching the study of animal bone assemblages;
• become familiar with the processes of formation of the archaeological record and with the methods by which problems of partial preservation, partial recovery, etc., may be overcome in excavation or in post-excavation study;
• acquire the capacity for critical evaluation of archaeological interpretations of animal bone evidence;
• develop basic analytical and interpretive skills for inferring past human action from zooarchaeological remains;
• become familiar with the use of elementary descriptive statistics in the analysis of zooarchaeological data.


EXAMPLES OF LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES/TUTORIALS

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

• What is archaeozoology? Fusion of epiphyses and anatomical identification of postcranial bones
• Species frequency and occurrence. Taxonomic identification of postcranial bones
• Identification of teeth and preliminary information on eruption and wear. Horncores and antlers.
• Butchery, burning and gnawing.
• Recording of tooth eruption and wear and its archaeological potential
• Biometry and its potential
• Taxonomic and body part quantifications
• Mandibular age stages and the construction of mortality curves


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type Hours
Laboratory Sessions 16
Lectures (embedded in lab classes) 8
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 106

ASSESSMENT

Method % of marks Hours/Length
Bone Test 40% 1 hour (+ 2 of preparation)
Project Report 60% 2000 words