autumn 2019

ARK-2032 Zooarchaeology - 10 ECTS

Last changed: 18.12.2019

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

Optional course. The course can be taken as a single course. 

Admission requirements

Søknadskode 9199 - enkeltemner lavere grad (ikke realfag) 

Obligatory prerequisites

ARK-1006 Archaeological Methods I, ARK-1014 What is Archaeology?or ARK-1000 Archaeology: Interpreting the Past, ARK-1006 Archaeological Methods I

Course content

Zooarchaeology is the study of animal remains found at archaeological sites. It aims to shed light on the relationship between humans and their environments, especially between humans and animals. The course will give insight into the basics of analysing and interpreting animal remains from archaeological sites. It will cover a variety of relevant topics from zooarchaeological history and theory, different methods used in analyses (micro- and macroscopic, biometric, bone chemistry), taxonomy, vertebrate anatomy, taphonomy, quantification, statistics, paleopathology, domestication and other.

Objectives of the course

The student will gain the following learning outcomes: 

Knowledge The student will aquire: 

  • A good understanding of the potential and importance of the analyses of animal remains from archaeological sites
  • Knowledge about zooarchaeological theory
  • Knowledge about different approaches and methods used in zooarchaeological analyses.

Skills The student will aquire:

  • basic skills in identifying, recording and quantifying vertebrate remains, and interpreting the results.

Language of instruction

Lectures in English, examination possible in English or Norwegian.

Teaching methods

Course consists of 10 double lectures followed by practical work and 2 seminars where students will present their case studies. 

All courses will be evaluated once during the period of the study program. The board of the program decides which courses will be evaluated by students and teacher each year. 



The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam: submission of three short assignments of ca. 2 pages (approx. 700 words) (assessed as pass/fail) during the course and presentation of a case study at the end of the course.

Assessment and exam: 

A two-week, written take-home exam consisting of a paper (ca. 10 pages, 3000-3500 words) on a given case study at the end of the course. 

The exam will be assessed on an A-F grade scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. 


Retake is offered in in the beginning of the following semester in cases of grade F or Fail. Deferred examination is offered in the beginning of the following semester if the student is unable to take the final exam due to illness or other exceptional circumstances. Registration deadline for retake is January 15 for autumn semester exams and August 15 for spring semester exams. 

Date for examination

Take home assignment hand out date 15.11.2019 hand in date 29.11.2019

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Pensumliste for ARK-2032 Zooarchaeology