Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

As of September 2017 the new name of this specialisation will be Human Osteoarchaeology.

Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology is a one-year MSc-specialisation at the internationally renowned Archaeology Faculty of Leiden University. In this programme you will study the methods and techniques used for the excavation and analysis of human skeletal material.

Bones and teeth

This specialisation will provide you with in-depth knowledge about the methods and theories used to study human bones and teeth in physical anthropology and archaeology. You will explore skeletal and dental anatomy. Additionally, we will teach you about the histology of skeletal tissues, morphological variation between males and females, and changes that come with age. The programme also considers diseases that can be diagnosed from bones and teeth and the palaeo-epidemiological insights that can be drawn from them.

Ancient DNA

In this programme, you will also be introduced to the standards associated with ancient DNA and isotope analysis. This specialisation teaches procedures for the excavation of skeletonised human remains along with the standards used for recording them. In addition, special attention is paid to taphonomic changes that can take place within the grave context.


As part of this master’s specialisation, you will be able to engage in a period of fieldwork in one of the osteological laboratory’s excavations or elsewhere. Alternatively, you may also choose to work as an intern in a museum or laboratory. This will provide you with valuable hands-on experience and will expand your network.

Master details

  • Dit is een afstudeerrichting van: Archaeology
  • Graad Master of Science in Archaeology
  • Onderwijsvorm Full-time
  • Duur 1 year
  • Start September, February
  • Taal English
  • Vestigingsplaats Leiden
  • Croho/isatcode 60805

Interested in research?

Consider the two-year Research Master’s in Archaeology


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Fieldwork and internships

Read more about fieldwork and internships

Vind jouw master aan de Universiteit Leiden