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DCH 516: Advanced Topics in Archaeological Science and Bioarchaeology






Language of Intruction


Course Description and Aims

This course is designed to rigorously introduce CyI doctoral students to key themes and topics in Archaeological Science and Bioarchaeology. Additionally, this graduate seminar aims at addressing the ways scientific methodologies and applications can help enhance research work in an array of fields in the humanities and the social sciences with a focus on archaeology and cultural heritage. Bioarchaeology in particular, which involves more specialized field like physical anthropology, palaeopathology and archaeobotany, has significantly revolutionized the study of past human societies. Students are encouraged to think outside the methodological boundaries of traditional disciplines and to be better aware of the research potential available in the use of archaeological sciences.

Within the seminar’s framework, course directors will engage topics appropriately chosen to meet the needs and interests of participating students. Students will be expected to fittingly develop projects on focused topics that permit the effective use of scientific methods and applications in Archaeology. Optimally, participants’ course projects will be directly related to their PhD research field.

Besides introducing students to the course’s basic themes, concepts of research, thesis writing and presentation, the hours of class will be used for student presentations, site and fieldwork visits. The course is primarily student-driven with each participant assuming a class research topic. In Class 3 of the course, students will be expected to submit a 2-page outline of their research topic. This semester long course will be organized in 2.5-hour weekly meetings which will be devoted to lectures offered by the course tutor and guest lecturers as well as discussion based seminar meetings with the contribution of experts in the field. The projected list of lecture and seminar meeting topics is as follows: based seminar meetings with the contribution of experts in the field. The projected timetable of lecture and seminar meeting topics is as follows:

Lecture Topics (each topic’s content will be covered between one and two meetings)

1. Introduction to the course’s theme, objectives and projects
2. Archaeology: Theory and methods
3. Archaeological sciences in the Eastern Mediterranean context
4. The Case of Cyprus
5. Dating and provenance methods and applications
6. Physico-chemical analytical sciences for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
7. Remote-sensing and geophysical survey approaches to Archaeology
8. Introduction to Bioarchaeology
9.  Physical Anthropology and Palaeopathology


Grade distribution

60% - final essay; 30% - seminar presentation; 10% - participation in class

Selected bibliography

  • Brothwell D. R. and Pollard, A. M. Handbook of Archaeological Sciences, Wiley, 2008
  • Eerkens, J. Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology, Springer
  • Goffer, Z. Archaeological Chemistry, 2nd edition, Wiley 2008.
  • Goldberg, P. and Macphail, R. Practical and Theoretical Geoarchaeology. Oxford:Blackwell, 2006.
  • Johnson, M. Archaeological Theory: An Introduction, 2nd edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Killick, D. and Young, S. (1997). Archaeology and Archaeometry: From Casual Dating to a Meaningful Relationship?, Antiquity 71, 1997, 518-24
  • Lambert, J. B. Traces of the Past: Unraveling the Secrets of Archaeology Through Chemistry, Addison-Wesley 1997
  • Larsen, C. S., Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Behavior from the Human Skeleton (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology), Cambridge University Press, 2015
  • Logan, W. and smith, L. Key Issues in Cultural Heritage. London: Routledge, 2012.
  • Lucas, G. Critical approaches to fieldwork: contemporary and historical archaeological practice. Routledge, London, 2001.
  • Martin, D. L., Harrod R. P. and Perze V. R., Bioarchaeology: An Integrated Approach to Working with Human Remains (Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory and Technique), Springer 2014
  • Parry, R. Recoding the museum: digital heritage and the technologies of change. Routledge, 2007.
  • Rapp, G. Jr. and Hill, C. L. Geoarchaeology: The Earth-Science Approach to Archaeological Interpretation, 2nd edition, Yale University Press, 2006.
  • Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. Archaeology: theories, methods and practice. London: Thames and Hudson, 2008.
  • Rogerio-Candelera, M. Lazzari, M. and Cano, E. Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. London: Taylor and Francis Group, 2013.
  • Ruthven, I. and Chowdhury, C. G. Cultural Heritage Information Access and Management, Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2015.
  • Shugar, A. N. and Mass, J. L. Handheld XRF for Art and Archaeology (Studies in Archaeological Sciences), Leuven University Press, 2014.
  • Sutton, M. Archaeology: The Science of the Human Past, Routledge, 2012