About this Course
4.7
259 ratings
90 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 27 hours to complete

Suggested: This course consists of 5 weeks of study, with about four to six hours of study required each week. ...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 27 hours to complete

Suggested: This course consists of 5 weeks of study, with about four to six hours of study required each week. ...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Introduction to the course

Hello and welcome to this course, Osteoarchaeology, the Truth in Our Bones. In this first, introductory module, you will learn about what this course is about and how it is set up. Watch the first three lectures to learn more about what Osteoarchaeology is, and the topics that you will be exploring each week. Read the course documents to find out more about how you will be graded and the tests you will be taking in each module. You will also find some documents that will help you to get the most out of this MOOC. Good luck! ...
Reading
3 videos (Total 13 min), 9 readings
Video3 videos
Welcome to the Course! - Course Introduction3m
Course Set-Up7m
Reading9 readings
Meet the Instructors & Team5m
Welcome to Leiden University!5m
Complete our short survey10m
Basic Anatomical Terminology10m
Names of Bones in the Skeleton10m
Human Skeleton - Learn the Basics10m
Studytips for Studying Online5m
Being Successful in an International Virtual Learning Community - Guidelines5m
Behaving in an Academic Way5m
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Bones to Biography & Demography

Welcome to the first content module of this course! This week is all about introducing you to the primary things that we can learn from nearly all human skeletons. Who are the people who lived in the past? Are they men, women or children? How old did they become, and how tall did they get? We can answer these questions by studying a range of bones contained in the human skeleton. Here, we will be showing you exactly how to do that, and hope you will learn a lot! ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 78 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
Video11 videos
Adult Age-at-Death Estimation12m
Sex Estimation14m
Stature Reconstruction13m
Discussion: How to?7m
Longbone Length to Estimate Subadult Age2m
Dental Formation to Estimate Subadult Age2m
Pubic Symphysis to Estimate Adult Age2m
Auricular Surface to Estimate Adult Age4m
Using the Phenice Traits to Estimate Sex2m
Using Longbone Length to Estimate Stature1m
Reading4 readings
Glossary10m
Optional Reading List10m
Instructions: Solve the Mystery 110m
Instructions: Solve the Mystery 210m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Test your Knowledge20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Bones to Disease and Trauma

Welcome to the second module! This week is all about disease in the past. How healthy were people really, and what diseases did they suffer from? We will show you how to answer these questions by studying the diseases that can be detected in human skeletal remains. We specifically focus on trauma including bone fractures, but also the diseases rickets and leprosy. ...
Reading
8 videos (Total 62 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
Video8 videos
Paleopathology: Bone biology6m
Paleopathology: Trauma13m
Paleopatholgy: Rickets9m
Paleopathology: Leprosy10m
Discussion 1, Violence5m
Discussion 2, Modern Medicine3m
Examples of Bone Fractures6m
Reading2 readings
Glossary10m
Optional Reading List10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Optional Quiz: Pathological or Healthy?10m
Test your Knowledge20m
Week
3
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Bones to Diet

Welcome to the third module! This week is all about diet in the past. What did people eat in the past and in what proportions? Did different groups of people eat different things, and did their diet change throughout time? This week we will show you how to answer such questions by studying the human skeleton. We will be focussing on the analysis of stable isotopes like Carbon and Nitrogen that can be found in human bones and teeth. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 47 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video6 videos
Paleodiet: Principles of Stable Isotope Analysis12m
Paleodiet: Stable Isotope Case Study Part 17m
Paleodiet: Stable Isotopes Case Study Part 28m
Paleodiet: Caries in the Maya7m
Discusion: The "Paleodiet" Trend4m
Reading2 readings
Glossary10m
Optional Reading List10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Test your Knowledge20m
Week
4
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Bones to Activity

Welcome to module four! This week is all about activity. What activities did people perform in the past? How did they move about, and how much? We will be answering these questions by studying many different aspects of the skeleton, like long bones, joints, the spine, and even teeth. We will be showing you what all these marks mean, and what they can tell us today about activities performed in the past. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 53 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video7 videos
Activity: the Musculoskeletal System6m
Activity: Entheseal Changes11m
Activity: Joint Degeneration13m
Activity: Teeth as Tools9m
Activity: Discussion3m
Scoring Entheseal Change3m
Reading2 readings
Glossary10m
Optional Reading List10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Test your Knowledge20m
4.7
90 ReviewsChevron Right

Top Reviews

By SSNov 8th 2016

Very informative, a good grounding in the subject, I really felt like I gained a lot of valuable knowledge on the subject that will help me in future endeavors. Very well put-together and organized.

By PBNov 21st 2016

I took this course to find out what osteoarchaeology was all about. Excellent, excellent course! Well planned, laid out and , and very interesting. I have learned a lot. Thank you!!!

Instructor

Avatar

Andrea Waters-Rist

Assistant Professor
Faculty of Archaeology

About Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • The course consists of five weeks, each week dealing with a different aspect of what we can learn from the human skeleton in an archaeological context.

    Each week is concluded with a multiple choice quiz about that week's subject, as well as a "Solve the Mystery" exercise that involves students analyzing a fictional skeleton using the knowledge they have gained in that week. The final course grade is based on a combination of the grades received for these two exercises each week.

    Course Content

    Week 1 The Osteobiography. Estimating age in adults and subadults, estimation of sex and stature.

    Week 2 Paleopathology. Different types of disease and trauma that can be detected in the human skeleton.

    Week 3 Paleodiet. Using stable isotope analysis and dental disease to reconstruct diet in the past.

    Week 4 Activity Reconstruction. Using entheseal change, joint degeneration and teeth to reconstruct activity in the past.

    Week 5 Mobility and Migration. Using long bone morphology, Strontium isotopes and ancient DNA to reconstruct mobility and migration.

  • No, that is not necessary. All the study materials needed to complete this course, are provided during the MOOC.

    Of course, if you want to learn more, you can always look for more (free) information online, or even buy a book on a particular subject.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.