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Approaches to the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. Students will develop practical skills in the identification of fauna encountered in archaeological sites in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Animal remains are among the most frequently encountered archaeological materials and understanding how to analyse and interpret them are essential skills for an archaeologist. This course uses practical learning as its main teaching tool, ensuring that those completing the course are well equipped to undertake archaeozoology in research or employment.

Paper title Archaeozoology
Paper code ANTH321
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,059.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,627.65

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18 200-level ANTH points or 108 points
ARCH 302
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff

Convenor: Professor Richard Walter

Paper Structure

Lecture topics include:

  • Introduction to archaeozoology
  • Working with faunal assemblages
  • The archaeozoology of shellfish
  • Archaeozoological quantification
  • The vertebrate skeleton
  • The archaeozoology of mammals
  • Biomolecular archaeozoology
  • The archaeozoology of fish
  • The archaeozoology of birds
  • Taphonomy
  • Reconstructing behaviour

Laboratory topics include:

  • Laboratory protocols and recording techniques
  • Theory and method in midden analysis
  • Shellfish taxonomy and anatomy
  • Quantifying archaeofauna
  • Mammalian skeletal anatomy
  • Comparative mammalian anatomy
  • Fish skeletal anatomy
  • Working with moa bones
  • Avian skeletal anatomy
  • Bone marks
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures and Labs

Assessment includes:
Laboratory reports (best two of three 15% each)
Midden analysis project (practical work 20%; written report 20%)
Final Exam (30%)
There are no set texts. Most required reading is from journal articles and book chapters available electronically through the library.
Course outline
A full course outline with readings will be available at the beginning of the course.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
An understanding of theoretical issues in archaeology, and an ability to identify and analyse archaeological fauna.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 10-16, 18-21


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 10:00-12:50 10-16, 18-21
A2 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 10-16, 18-21


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Friday 11:00-12:50 11-15, 18-20
A2 Friday 13:00-14:50 11-15, 18-20