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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones by Universiteit Leiden

459 ratings

About the Course

This course is about what we can learn from examining the human skeleton, and how we can use this knowledge to reconstruct the lives of people who lived in the past. In archaeology and anthropology, human skeletal remains can provide unique insights into the past and the present; insights that cannot be gained otherwise. These insights are explored in five main themes spread out over five weeks of learning. First, it is shown how age-at-death, sex and stature can be estimated by the close examination of (archaeological) skeletal remains. In subsequent modules it is shown how human bones can provide information about the diseases and injuries that people suffered from and what they ate. Also, it is shown how the human skeleton provides information about the kinds of activities that people engaged in and about how they migrated and moved around their landscapes. In this course, you will examine all aspects of the human skeleton that can provide us with information about these different facets of life. Together we will explore the scientific field that is known as human osteoarchaeology. - Human, because it is about us and our ancestors, - Osteo, because it is about our bones, - Archaeology, because we use this information to better understand the behaviors and events experienced by past people. During the course, you will decipher the clues left behind in the skeletons of past peoples with the methods and techniques that are presented. You may also discover some clues hidden in your own skeleton and what they reveal about the life that you are living. Want to know more? You can take a look at the course trailer here:

Top reviews


Nov 7, 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.


Nov 20, 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!!!

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126 - 150 of 167 Reviews for Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones

By Arelys R P

Nov 19, 2021

Maravilloso 🤩

By Ahmed A

Nov 19, 2016

perfect course

By Juan A J

Jun 23, 2017


By mustafa a

Oct 8, 2016


By Carolina B

Aug 29, 2020


By Paul R

Mar 6, 2018


By Joy S

Jan 16, 2017

Good info

By Roma R

Oct 15, 2020


By Andrei d S S

Jul 8, 2017


By Nadiyah a

Mar 25, 2020


By Hasan m

Jun 22, 2018


By Aarya R

Aug 28, 2021

By Christine S

Nov 5, 2016

The course has been very informative, the mystery cases we had to solve challenging.

The topic and how the team approached it was great, but there have been some downsides too. The transcripts were full of mistakes as done with a voice recognition software and obviously not double checked (which is bad for non-native speakers like me), and some of the material given in the mystery cases would have needed some further explanation on how to interpret them. Especially for the ones without any previous knowledge - like me - there should be more information or a help desk. Peer review is another issue. I am still not quite sure what I have done wrong, as there was no feedback. And, sometimes I really didn't know how to give feedback myself, as I didn't know if I was right or wrong with my analysis. If relying on peer review only, there should be solutions handed in after you have submitted so that you can learn from your mistakes and are able to review the others correctly.

All in all I have learned loads within these 5 weeks and I will definitely come back on another course. It has been fun and challenging!

By Brent C

May 4, 2017

The content and instructional videos are very good. The in video questions and weekly quizzes help to reinforce materials with most questions being well crafted. The weekly mysteries are a very good learning exercise because they introduce material or methods in a new way. A small issue with the interface for the exercises not being intuitive for all learners & no instructions to assist with first exercise.

Two issues with this course/platform:

1) The discussion areas are not designed in a way to encourage exchanges.

2) I did not notice any interaction from any instructor or mentors outside of the prepackaged materials. Perhaps this is an unreasonable expectation; however, I have taken several courses where instructors and mentors encouraged discussions and suggested additional materials / links appropriate to issues raised by students. A great plus for a course when done well.

By Charlotte S

Nov 24, 2016

I really enjoyed learning from this course. It was diverse and exciting. The assignments were interesting, and makes the student feel as though you are truly an osteo-archaeologist who needs to 'solve the mystery' of the skeleton. The only downside of this course is the peer-reviewed assignment. The peer review is done by multiple-choice from 1 to 5 for five 'aspects' of your submission and many 'peers' do not leave any comment to provide feedback for improvement. So, if you didn't pass the assignment the first time, you might not have a clue what it is that you should improve for the second submission. Apart from the fact that you are reviewed by peers (= not specialists) who might be wrong themselves, it is very annoying that you are not able to learn from your mistakes. Perhaps this course could improve on this point by making it obligatory for peers to add a comment.

By Gary J

Dec 2, 2016

This is a very good course, I have really enjoyed taking this course, and I learned a lot. I have already put to use what I have learned in this course, into another course I am taking. The only criticism I have of this course is the grading system. The peer review grading of the papers lacks a lot to be desired. People give you arbitrary grades without giving any feed back. You can submit a graduate level paper, and be graded off by someone with a high school education. I feel this problem needs to be corrected before I take another course from Leiden University.

By Lee H

Jan 15, 2017

Please we need pdf printable "booklets” of slides (no headshots “and use PALE backgrounds) under downloads below the video screen. I love MOOCs that do this for us to help integrate knowledge. Thanks so much. The course content is very good - I have taken bricks and mortar forensic classes as well as a Forensics MOOC out of China and yours is comparable. But please the downloadable slides? Thanks so much


By Brian T

Nov 6, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this class! I've completed about 6 courses so far and while I've found all of them very informative this is the first one that I was sorry to see the end. Maybe Professor Waters-Rist and her team could conduct another Osteoarchaeology class introducing techniques not covered in this course. Regardless, great job and thank you so much for allowing me to learn more about this fascinating field!

By Sheila H

Oct 26, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and learned a lot, though there were some technology 'glitches' to overcome.

I would recommend that the administrators, for future courses, ask students to upload their assignments as PDFs, as this would enable non-Microsoft/Open Office etc. users to review the assignments directly in their browser, rather than having to download the files, convert them, then dispose of them :)

By Anne-Marie R

Nov 15, 2020

This excellent and very interesting course gives you a broad introduction in the field of osteoarchaeology. However, in my opinion, though a beginner course it is not an easy one! I spent quite a lot of extra time looking up anatomical terms and reading background articles. For me that is part of the fun and I really enjoyed learning so much about this specialization in archaeology!

By Jacquelene B

May 13, 2019

Very interesting subject matter. Lecture content is well presented and just challenging enough to make you think a little when you're completing the course assignments. It would be nice if the work was a little more detailed (purely because my interest has now been peaked) and if the assignments were a little more spaced out (I found one a week was a bit of a push for me)

By Samantha L

Sep 10, 2017

This is a great course, very interesting with real case studies and plenty of references for further academic reading. Some minor technical issues with peer reviews of assignments, but overall I liked the combination of written assignments and quizzes, and the (ungraded) forum discussion questions.


Jan 18, 2017

Very interesting course... but very exigeant! One evaluated subject per week, it's hard and if you don't give the necessary time to complete this work, you'll lose your time and waste money!

By Stine J

Aug 19, 2017

Overall I think it is a very good and informative course. However, the grades do not provide relevant feedback, since it is peer-reviewed assignments by fellow students.

By Darren B

Jun 24, 2022

V​ery interesting course. Easy to follow and understand and most informative. Definitely increased my interest in this area and I look forward to discovering more