• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology

This course is about interpreting past human life-ways, health and ill-health from the skeleton. Life-ways and health are examined by way of skeletal (palaeopathological) and dental manifestations of disease, stress, trauma and violent death, physical activity (basket weaving to spear throwing), tooth use and diet, and demographic histories. Emphasis is on the interactions between biology and behaviour and the influences of environment and culture. The multidisciplinary nature of reconstructing the lives of the dead is explored though the manner in which socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, bioanthropology, chemistry, molecular biology, medicine and a host of other disciplines inform this research.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Meet the stipulated course aims.
  2. Become familiar and comfortable with a broad sample of scholarship in this disciplinary area.
  3. Augment their ability to think critically about basic assumptions and conceptual frameworks in this field.
  4. Develop skills in oral presentations, including debate, and in writing.

Indicative Assessment

Annotated bibliography (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]

Differential Diagnosis (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3]

Tutorial participation (5%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4]

Final paper (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two hours of lectures, one hour of tutorials and seven hours of private study per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

12 units ANTH or ARCH or PREH or BIOL

Prescribed Texts

Larsen, C.S. Bioarchaeology. Interpreting Behavior From the Human Skeleton. Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Hoppa, R.D. and Fitzgerald, C.M. (eds). Human Growth in the Past: Studies from Bones and Teeth. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Katzenberg, M.A. and Saunders, S.R. (eds). Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton. Wiley-Liss, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000.
Roberts, C. and Manchester, K. The Archaeology of Disease. Cornell University Press, 1997.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $1230
2004 $1926
2005 $2286
2006 $2286
2007 $2286
2008 $2286
2009 $2286
2010 $2358
2011 $2424
2012 $2472
2013 $2472
2014 $2478
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2004 $2916
2005 $3132
2006 $3132
2007 $3132
2008 $3240
2009 $3240
2010 $3240
2011 $3240
2012 $3240
2013 $3240
2014 $3246
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8870 21 Jul 2014 01 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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