NNMK11001U Advanced Zooarchaeology - CANCELLED

Volume 2016/2017

During this advanced course in zooarchaeology we will focus on the identification of fish and bird remains from archaeological excavations. Further, the course offers an introduction to the analyses of remains from insects and molluscs from archaeological contexts. The studensts will learn about methods used in zooarchaeology and obtain the ability to evaluate zooarchaeological studies. The various taxonomic groups are treated by specialists.

Learning Outcome


Knowledge of the general skeletal anatomy of fishes and birds and their adaptations to various habitats.

An overview of the Danish fauna history with a special focus on fish and birds, including the introduction of early domestic bird species into Denmark.

Knowledge of sampling strategies applied to obtain representative materials of insects, molluscs, fish and birds suited for modern methods of analysis.

Knowledge of traditional and modern methods of analysing subfossil fish and bird bones from archaeological and natural deposits.

Knowledge of how the various methods can be applied to, e.g., subsistence analyses and reconstruction of paleoenvironments.



By the end of the course the students are expected to have acquired the following skills:

A solid understanding of the discipline of zooarchaeology with a special focus on identification and analyses of skeletal remains from fish and birds.

Be able to recognize the different skeletal elements from fish and birds and identify those from a variety of the most commonly found Danish species or taxonomic groups.

An understanding of the potential in the study of insect and mollusk remains retrieved during archaeological excavations.

A detailed knowledge of one or more subjects within the discipline of zooarchaeology obtained through the execution of a minor project.



By the end of the course the students are expected to have acquired the following competences: 

Have a comprehensive overview of and be able to discuss traditional and modern methods of analyses of fish and bird bone remains.

Understand and be able to explain the potential of analyses of archaeological remains from insects and molluscs.

Be able to perform smaller projects including identification and analyses of vertebrate bone remains within the discipline of zooarchaeology by applying the basic methods.


Please find information on Absalon


Wheeler, A. & Jones, A.K.J. 1989. Fishes. Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge University Press.


Serjeantson, D. 2009. Birds. Cambridge manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge University Press (a selection of chapters).


BSc degree in archaeology, BSc degree in biology or BSc degree in geology.
It is preferred but not required that the students have passed the course of Zooarchaeology at the BSc level.
Teaching comprises of lectures and practical exercise during the first 5-6 weeks followed by a supervised individual or group-work during the last 2-3 weeks. The resulting report will be part of the final examination.
The course is relevant to students from archaeology, biology and geology.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Practical exercises
  • 12
  • Preparation
  • 81
  • Project work
  • 76
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Written assignment, 2 weeks
Individual oral examination without preparation time. The oral examination takes its starting point in a written assignment representing the results of af small individual or group project conducted during the course. The written assignment must be handed in prior to the exam week. The grade is based on an overall assessment with the oral examination counting 50% and the written assignment counting 50%.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

As ordinary exam.

The written report can be reused in a re-examination.

Criteria for exam assesment

See description