• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Biology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Spring Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course is designed to explore a series of emerging and intensely debated issues in the discipline of bioarchaeology, and provide advanced training in bioarchaeological methods. Students in this course will take a critical approach to methods employed in the reconstruction of ancient human behaviour from skeletal remains, and will cover topics such as ancient human diet, habitual activity, and ancient bone metabolism. An emphasis will be placed on combining experimental and more classic approaches to the study of the human skeleton, allowing students to identify pressing research questions in bioarchaeology.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. Explain and describe how skeletal biology principles that derive from human and non-human animal experimental research inform current interpretations in bioarchaeology.
  2. Critically analyse bioarchaeological literature through evaluation of published research against alternative interpretations of data.
  3. Construct scientific hypotheses in bioarchaeological research.
  4. Learn and practice a bioarchaeological technique.

Indicative Assessment

Laboratory Report, 3000 words (45%) LO 1,2,3,4
Peer-Review Essay, 3000 words (45%) LO 1,2
Tutorial Presentation,15 minutes (10%) LO 1,2


In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of tutorials and laboratory practicals; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.


Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed BIAN6517 or BIAN6512 or BIAN6515, or with permission of the convenor.

Preliminary Reading

Buikstra JE, Beck LA. 2006. Bioarchaeology: The Contextual Analysis of Human Remains. Academic Press.
Crowder C, Stout S. 2011. Bone Histology: An Anthropological Perspective. CRC Press.
Larsen CS. 2015. Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Behaviour from the Human Skeleton. Cambridge University Press.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of basic concepts in bioarchaeology, and required skills in human skeletal identification and/or basics of biological profiling from skeletal remains is expected.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9641 01 Oct 2020 23 Oct 2020 23 Oct 2020 31 Dec 2020 In Person N/A

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