Faculty of Arts


The Anthropology of Human Remains


Human remains reflect the lives of the dead as well as the lives of those who buried them. In this course you will be introduced to the various ways in which we study the dead. The course will cover three areas: the interpretation of mortuary practices, the interpretation of past lives from human remains and the practice of burial archaeology in the southern hemisphere.

This course is an introduction to the field of human-focused bioarchaeology and is focused upon giving you the skills to observe, analyse and interpret mortuary remains (burials and their contents). It is co-taught with ANTHRO 367 and is designed for students continuing in biological anthropology and archaeology. In lab sessions we will concentrate upon your field observations, presenting and discussing results of those observations, developing research skills, working out how to interpret those observations using current theories.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, you will be equipped with the tools to:

• Explain the limitations and promises of the analysis of human remains
• Explain analyses of human remains and mortuary practice identifying the difference between observations and interpretation and the role of theory
• Make your own observations and then interpret using a theoretical framework
• Present your work to others in a coherent and professional fashion
• Master and demonstrate research skills including searching for sources of data
• Be able to identify and explain research and concepts relevant to course content

Availability 2019

Not taught in 2019


Lecturer(s) Associate Professor Judith Littleton


ANTHRO 235: 15.0 points


15 points in Anthropology or 60 points passed



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