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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - England - 5 Day Introduction to Human Osteology - Sheffield, South Yorkshire - 2013

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2013-03-18
End Date 2013-03-22

Multiple Session information


Archaeology Field School Location

Department of Archaeology,
The University of Sheffield,
Northgate House,
West Street,
South Yorkshire.
S1 4ET

Academic Credit


Archaeology Field School Tuition

£400 full price
£340 student/unwaged (please note there are only a limited number of these concessionary places available)

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Not included but we are happy send participants local information about places to stay.

Archaeology Field School Travel
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

N/A - all course materials are included in the fee.

Archaeology Field School Description

The University of Sheffield Department of Archaeology has a long history of teaching and research in human osteology. Members of our current research team have a wealth of professional and practical experience, and have worked extensively on projects in the UK and Europe, as well as other areas of the world. Our combined research interests cover a variety of subjects and time periods, from early hominid evolution to post medieval cemetery populations.

This course will be taught in our main osteology laboratory using the department’s human skeletal reference collection. We aim to provide participants with an overview of human skeletal anatomy and a variety of osteological methods, in order to convey understanding and recognition of standard osteological practice and help participants gain confidence when dealing with human skeletal material.

Course Content

Day 1
• Practical arrangements and health and safety
• Handling remains in the field and laboratory
• Introduction to excavating human remains
• The human skeleton from an evolutionary perspective
• Basic skeletal anatomy, handling major bones and learning diagnostic osteological features
• Full skeletal layout
Day 2
• Assigning age at death
• Biological sex estimation
• Adult stature estimation
• Demographic analysis and population profiling

Day 3
• Overview of human dentition
• Identifying deciduous and permanent teeth
• Identifying dental and non-dental skeletal pathology

Day 4
• Introduction to bone microstructure and thin section analysis
• Bone taphonomy
• Osteology in context: bringing the dead to life

Day 5
• Review of the weeks lectures and activities
• Full osteological inventory and assessment

Course venue

The course will be held at Northgate House, the University of Sheffield’s Archaeology Department on West Street. Northgate House is a five-minute tram-ride from Sheffield Station and a five minute walk from the city centre.

Tea/coffee will be provided but lunch is not included in the price of the course. There is a wide choice of sandwich bars, pubs and restaurants less than two minutes walk from the department.

Accommodation is not provided in the price of this course. However, the course organisers are happy to offer recommendations to suit any budget.


Registration for this course is now open. Places cost £400 per person (£340 for a limited number of concessionary places), and can be booked at our online shop, via our web page.

Registration will close on Friday 8th March 2013.
For further information regarding this course, please email Lauren McIntyre (, or phone us on 0114 2222948.

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Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Short Course

Time Period

This course utilises human skeletal material from a range of time periods, from the Neolithic through to the post-medieval period.

Field School Setting/Conditions

The Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield is located right in the city centre. It is easily accessible by car, public transport, and by foot. The course organisers are happy to provide participants with directions or give travel advice, particularly if participants are not familiar with travelling to/within the UK.

How is the project area accessed each day

The Department of Archaeology is accessible by alerting reception staff via an intercom on arrival.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Monday to Friday, 10am-4.30pm.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school

Although we do not offer formal accreditation, this course is approved by the University of Sheffield and we do provide certificate of attendance and subjects covered.

Directors and Instructors

Lauren McIntyre - Lauren has worked as a commercial archaeologist since graduating in 2004, working for companies such as ARCUS and Mike Griffiths and Associates. Since completing an MSc in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology in 2006, she worked as osteoarchaeologist for On Site Archaeology. As well as this, Lauren has worked on research and community projects teaching excavation techniques and supervising students at Brodsworth Hall, Manor Lodge and New Lodge in Barnsley. She was awarded AHRC funding in 2008 as part of the Knowledge Catalyst Scheme, in order to conduct full osteological analysis of the human bone assemblage from the All Saint´s Fishergate site in York.

Lauren is currently in the 3rd year of her PhD, analysing the complete archive of human skeletal material from Roman York, and continues to work as Associate Osteologist for On Site Archaeology.

Isabelle Heyerdahl-King - Isabelle gave up a long career in teaching to take a Masters degree in Palaeoanthropology. Isabelle is in the final year of research for her own PhD in patterns of Middle Pleistocene hominid variation. Her other research interests include the modern human origins from a morphological perspective and the early settlement of the High Arctic.

Tom Booth - Tom is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield Department of Archaeology. Tom holds a BSc in Archaeological Science and an MSc in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology, both from the University of Sheffield and has worked on a number of archaeological projects both in the UK and abroad, including the excavation of a medieval cemetery near the village of San Giovanni D’Asso, Italy.

Tom specialises in the analysis of bone microstructure and the use of in situ observations of skeletal articulation to infer aspects of funerary ritual. For his PhD thesis Tom is investigating whether patterns of diagenetic attack observed within the microstructure of archaeological bone can be used to aid reconstructions of mortuary rituals, particularly in the British prehistoric periods.

Linzi Harvey - Linzi is currently undertaking doctoral research into the dental health of past populations at the University of Sheffield. She has worked in commercial archaeology for over 10 years, and has excavated and handled human remains from a variety of sites, ranging from prehistoric to post-medieval. Linzi supplements her academic research by working on an ad hoc basis for archaeology units providing assessments of skeletal assemblages for client reports. She also demonstrates musculo-skeletal human anatomy through dissection for the MSc course in Osteology.

Her PhD research is focused on the dental health of past populations and how dental health might affect or be affected by overall health. This involves looking at all of the dental remains from the York Barbican assemblage currently held at the University, assessing them for a variety of health indicators. The overall health of each individual is also being recorded.

Linzi is a current member of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteology (BABAO) and the International Association for Paleodontology (IAPO).

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

• Understanding of human musculoskeletal anatomy
• Understanding the principles of excavating human skeletal material
• Recording a skeleton both in the field and the laboratory
• Estimating age, sex, and stature
• Indentifying key features of both juvenile and adult dentition
• Understanding the fundamental characteristics of bone microstructure
• Recognising dental and non-dental pathology
• Interpreting osteological findings and relating them to the wider archaeological context

On rain days will there be lab work?

All work will be undertaken in the laboratory.

Will there be additional organized activities?

Icebreaker social will be organised once course participants arrive.

Will there be additional organized activities?


Is travel restriced during free time?

No, so long as people can make it to class on time!

Other resources students will find useful

See recommended reading

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Lauren McIntyre
Department of Archaeology,
The University of Sheffield,
Northgate House,
West Street,
South Yorkshire.
S1 4ET

Field School Contact E-mail:
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