AR2Z1-Introduction to Zooarchaeology

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: Not available to students outside of SHES in 2013/14 Maximum number of students 16
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Aleks Pluskowski

Email: a.g.pluskowski@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module aims to make you familiar with the non-human vertebrate skeleton and to develop your understanding of the study of animal remains recovered from archaeological contexts.

Aims:
This module aims to make you familiar with the non-human vertebrate skeleton and to develop your understanding of the study of animal remains recovered from archaeological contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
-Evaluate the nature and quality of zooarchaeological skeletal evidence, and explain how it can be used to infer human responses to other species, as well as environmental reconstruction.
-Identify skeletal remains and teeth from a range of mammals, birds and fish, whether intact or fragmentary.
-Understand how metrics can be used to estimate to age and sex.
-Identify normal from pathological changes to the skeleton.
-Identify human modification of animal bone.

Additional outcomes:
Practicals are designed to develop zooarchaeological skills and to reinforce information and practices outlined in the lectures. Students will learn to work both independently, and in groups to gain information from a range of skeletal material.

Outline content:
Students will be introduced to the key methods employed by animal bone specialists (zooarchaeologists) in the examination of faunal remains, from their excavation, to the estimation of age, sex, anthropogenic modification and pathology. You will also be taught to identify, record and analyse different species, to distinguish between mammals, birds and fish, and to use the results in understanding taphonomy, environmental reconstruction and trends in human exploitation of animals.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Each session will comprise a one-hour introductory lecture followed by a practical where methods outlined in the lecture will be applied to skeletal material.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9
Practicals classes and workshops 20
Guided independent study 71
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Practical skills assessment 20

Other information on summative assessment:
Practical test (20%): students will sit a two-hour test in the laboratory to assess their ability to identify fragmentary remains and to apply general zooarchaeological techniques.
Skeletal Report (80%): students will produce a 1,500 word professional report presenting the results of their laboratory assessment.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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