Forensic Archaeology - PSCI5020

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Mark Green checkmark-circle


Dating : Radioactive decay and detection of radiation, radiocarbon dating and related methods, accelerator mass spectrometry, uranium series dating, potassium-argon dating, radioactive tracers, isotope dilution, neutron activation, stable isotope techniques with forensic applications, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, thermoluminescence dating and thermal history, Lindow Man, detection of irradiated food.

Detection : Magnetometry, metal detectors, resistivity surveys, ground penetrating radar, aerial photography, and remote sensing.

Osteology : The study of human osteology is fundamental to the discipline of forensic anthropology. This series of lectures begins by examining the structure, growth, and function of bones and teeth. Methods of skeletal analysis in forensic anthropology are then examined, including age, sex, stature, trauma, disease, and race. Applications in biological anthropology will also be reviewed. This section of the course will include a laboratory practical.


Contact hours

22 hours of lectures.


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Written examination 70%; Coursework 30%.

Indicative reading

Zumdahl, Chemical Principles

  • Byers, S. 2005. Introduction to forensic anthropology. London : Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

  • White, T.D. 2000. Human Osteology. San Diego, California, London : Academic Press Inc.

  • J. Hunter & M. Cox, 2005. Forensic Archaeology. Routledge, London, 2005 - chapter 3

  • E.W. Killam. 2004. The Detection of Human Remains. Charles Thomas, Springfield - chapters 5-8

  • T.L. Dupras, J.J. Schultz, S.M. Wheeler & L.J. Williams. 2006. Forensic Recovery of Human Remains.

  • Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton - chapter 4

  • A. Clark. 1990. Seeing Beneath the Soil. Batsford, London.

  • White, T.D., Black, M.T., Folkens, P.A. 2011. Human Osteology. San Diego, California, London : Academic Press Inc.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of the principle areas of forensic archaeology including dating, detection and osteology.

  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to forensic archaeology.

  • Ability to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of problems.

  • Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information.

  • Numeracy and computational skills.


    1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
    Back to top

    University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.