Saturday, 6 August 2011

Course - Understanding zooarchaeology: a short course for archaeology and heritage professionals (Sheffield)

When: 12th to 14th September 2011
Where: University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology
Cost : £150 (£100 concession)


Sheffield has a long history of zooarchaeology teaching and research, and today it is home to one of the largest and most active zooarchaeology research teams in the UK. Our members work throughout the UK and Europe as well as contributing to projects in Asia and Africa, and have research interests that span the period from the Palaeolithic to the recent past. The course aims to provide an understanding of the basic theory and methods which
zooarchaeologists use to understand animal bone evidence. The course will include lectures, discussion and hands on practical classes. Participants will begin to develop the skills necessary to:

• Recognise special/unusual faunal deposits and understand the principles of excavating animal bones.
• Care for and store bones after excavation.
• Identify different species from their bones and teeth.
• Age and sex bones.
• Recognize taphonomy, butchery and pathology.
• Understand how zooarchaeological material is analysed and quantified.
• Interpret site reports and zooarchaeological literature.
Students and dog skeleton

Day 1

There will be ample opportunity during the course to ask questions and discuss the issues raised during each day. However, if you have a particular area of interest that you would like us to cover in more detail, please let us know when you register for the course.
• Introduction: What is zooarchaeology
• Excavating animal bones
• What can body parts tell us?
• Identifying animal bones
Practical sessions
• Tour of the reference collection
• Types of bone
• Skeletal anatomy
• Identifying animal bones

Day 2

• Identifying animal bones
• Ageing animals
Practical sessions
• Identifying animal bones
• Bone fusion practical
• Ageing by tooth eruption and wear

Day 3

• Bone modification
• Sexing and biometry
• Counting bones
• Understanding a bone report
Practical sessions
• Bone recording
• Sheep/goat biometry
• Quantification

Social activities

Course meal

On Monday 12th September there will be an optional course meal for participants and tutors at a local restaurant. Further details will be available shortly but we anticipate that this will cost less than £20.

Registration now open!

Registration for the September 2011 short course is now open. Please use the link below to secure your place. In addition, we request that all participants complete a registration form (available from the link on the right) and return it to us at

Cancellations and refunds

Refund requests should be made by email to, 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 shortcourse.
If you are experiencing any difficulty please contact us as early as possible.


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