Osteology means the study of bones and comprises studies of both human and animal material. Osteological material forms the largest amount of finds at archaeological excavations, regardless of the site contains burials or settlement structures. Osteological competence is necessary during an excavation in order to identify and process bone material on site.
The bones found during excavations can provide much information on a society. Which species of cattle were held, and which were hunted? What did people eat, how healthy were they and how long could they expect to live? These are all questions that you as an osteologist can provide the answers to. During your training, you will learn how this is done.
We also offer a BA programme in archaeology and osteology (Swedish only)
At the beginning of your studies in osteology, you will learn the different parts of the skeleton, the structures of bones and their names (anatomy and morphology). You also learn different methods to make estimates of sex, age and size, and identify and analyse cremated bones from humans and animals. Training also includes learning to recognize different illnesses and damages that affect the skeleton, and you will receive basic training in archaeogenetics..
Gotland's soil is calciferous, meaning that skeleton material is well-preserved. Bone finds from the excavations of the department's field seasons and research excavations are available to the students for thesis writing.
You will have close contacts with their teachers not only in the lecture halls but also in the Osteological laboratory, where all practical supervision occurs using both reference material and archaeological collections.
Trained osteologists work in the culture sector, museums and in field archaeology. Students interested in forensic medicine can continue their study in this area.