ANAT SC 3101 - Anthropological and Forensic Anatomy III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

The objectives of this course are to appreciate the biological nature of humans and to appreciate the biological variability of humans. Our evolutionary origins are discussed as well as the place of humans in nature. Students will learn skills in anthropometric examination and in skeletal identification for forensic and archaeological purposes. Aspects of Biological Anthropology such as dental anthropology and paleopathology will also be presented. Students will be required to complete a research project and actively participate in seminars and discussion sessions. Lecture topics include: the place of humans in nature, hominid evolution and its mechanisms, recent human evolution and human evolutionary future, modern human biological variation, primatology, human population dynamics and ecology, human physical growth and development, osteology and forensic applications of anthropology. Research skills are learned in a problem based, self-directed mode.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANAT SC 3101
    Course Anthropological and Forensic Anatomy III
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge ANAT SC 2501 ANAT SC 2200 or equiv. approved by Course Coordinator or Head of Discipline
    Restrictions Available to B.HlthSc, B.PsychSc & BSc students only, or by permission of the Head of School or the Course Coordinator
    Assessment 2 hour written exam 55%, research project: written component 40%, oral component 5%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Maciej Henneberg

    Course Coordinator: Maciej Henneberg
    Phone: + 61 8 8313 5479
    Location: Room N107, Medical School North

    Tutor: Teghan Lucas
    Location: Room N109, Medical School North
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand human biological variation: influence of genetic differences and environmental conditions on phenotypic characters of individuals and populations
    2 Understand forces of evolution and their operation on humans: mutations, natural selection, gene flow, genetic drift
    3 Describe basic knowledge of human origins
    4 Use standard methods to measure and analyse human variation
    5 Identify basic knowledge of microevolutionary changes of human anatomy and physiology in the last 5 thousand years
    6 Understand the influence of socio-economic conditions on the physical development of children
    7 Design and carry out a scientific investigation
    8 Conduct an independent research project and to write a report of scientific investigation
    9  Prepare and present a seminar on a specific topic
    10 Engage in a meaningful, structured discussion of a specific case
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Prescribed textbook

    Relethford, J.H. (2007 or later edition) The Human Species: An Introduction to Biological Anthropology. Mayfield Publ. Co. California

    Recommended readings

    Oxenham M, ed (2008) Forensic Approaches to Death, Disaster and Abuse. Australian Academic Press, Bowen Hills, Qld.

    Blau S, Ubelaker DH eds (2009) Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology. World Archaeological Congress. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California
    Recommended Resources
    Students must be familiar with the Barr Smith Library and must be able to use the electronic databases to search for literature.
    Online Learning
    Lecture notes will be posted on MyUni, when a lecturer proveds these; however, it is not always the case that a guest lecturer will do so.

    Th MyUni email facility will be used if a message needs to be relayed to the class in between sessions. Students must ensure that they read their university email address emails regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course requires student-directed learning.  That is, students must take responsibility in shaping the focus of their work, and in formulating arguments within that work.  Lectures and practicals, with interactive discussion are principal learning and teaching modes. Since the course attempts to integrate knowledge of a number of disciplines, active student participation in lectures and practicals is required. Lectures will integrate knowledge already possessed by students with new approaches to its interpretation as well as to supplement knowledge where it is found to be missing.

    Each student will conduct a research project and prepare a written and an oral presentation.

    Thus, students who prefer didactic teaching and a regurgitation of facts will possibly find this course unsuitable.  Students who do not enjoy questioning the existing knowledge should not take this course.

    This course is interdisciplinary and the class may include students from different areas and also comprises materials delivered by lecturers from different disciplines.  Wherever possible students will be encouraged to work with students from a different degree programme than their own.

    This course encourages students to think, debate and challenge taken-for-granted ideas.  Students who do not enjoy class participation and who do not like to play with ideas and express them with others, may not find this course suitable.

    We treat students as adult learners and active participants in the course.  Therefore, they are expected to take responsibility for their work and for what happens in discussions.  Students’ views will be heard and where preferences for change are expressed, these will be considered and discussed.  The assessment cannot change, but other details around the course can be accommodated and will be where possible.  Where things cannot be changed, a respectful explanation will be given.

    This course requires reflective learning.  That is, students are required to think about how they are developing and how their ideas are changing – or not – as they hear, think, read, the course-related materials.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The face-to-face contact with the group is six hours per week. However, students are expected to spend about at least another four hours per week on researching and reading. In the past, some students have reported spending more than this amount of time on research and reading and writing. However, four hours would be the minimum time required.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic/Practical Lecture
    Week 1 Anthropometry, Surface Anatomy, Somatotypology and Somatoscopy History of anatomy and physical anthropology Applications of biological anthropology to forensics
    Week 2 Anatomical variation and statistical methods for anthropometry. Dermatoglyphics Biological variation
    Human biological variation and race
    Week 3 Skeletal identification. Sexing and Aging. Skeletal variation and osteometry. Skeletal identification Palaeopathology (skeletal signs of diseases and their interpretation)
    Week 4 Dental Anthropology. Project Discussions Dental anthropology. Mechanisms of human evolution: demography/population genetics
    Week 5 Individual work on research projects Mechanisms of human evolution: population genetics Mechanisms of human evolution: population genetics (continued)
    Week 6 Individual work on research projects Human ecosensitivity: factors influencing ontogeny (individual growth and development) Ongoing human evolution – today and tomorrow
    Week 7 Mid-semester test Forensic archaeology Bone chemistry and reconstruction of lifeways
    Week 8 Individual work on research projects Skeletal identification, a case study 1
    Skeletal identification, a case study 2
    Week 9 Individual work on research projects Identification of persons from images Primate origins and the emergence of hominins
    Week 10 Individual work on research projects Plio-Pleistocene hominins The emergence of Homo sapiens
    Week 11 Fossil record of early hominids & early humans A forensic study of the Flores human (“the hobbit”)
    Role of a biological anthropologist in investigation of sexual offences
    Week 12 Individual work on research projects Identification – case studies
    The role of a forensic expert, court appearances
    Week 13 Presenatations of student research projects Presentations of student research projects
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students are expected to do their own, hands-on research project work as a part of the practicals. Students do not need to attend practicals designated as “Project Work”, but must carry out their research to the extent of at least 20 hours (5x4 hours). Students are free to choose their own topic of interest for those projects, provided that the topic fits into the overall theme of the course and that the project is feasible. Course staff will be available during scheduled practical times to provide advice to students carrying out their projects. Each project must end in a written document similar to a research journal article. At the last practical students will be expected to present their results in a form of short research conference presentation. This will be marked.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Final examination Summative 50% 1-10
    Mid-Semester test Summative and formative 10% 1, 2, 4
    Research project Summative and formative 35% 7-8
    Research project presentation Summative and formative 5% 9-10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To sit the written examination students must attend all practicals and complete all elements of the assessment (the test and the project including both oral and written presentations).
    Assessment Detail
    Mid-tem test (1 hour) will comprise short answer questions aimed at testing the knowledge, especially that of methods specific for biological (physical) anthropology. An individual feedback will be provided to each student.

    Formative feedback will be provided regarding the research project. Please note that seeking formative feedback is the student’s responsibility. As an adult learner, the student must take responsibility for asking specific questions about their work.

    The final written examination will test both knowledge of necessary facts and techniques, and the ability to interpret human variation, its causes and applications.
    All project reports must be written in a form of a manuscript of a scientific journal article and submitted by a specified deadline at the end of the semester. Late submissions of written projects will be penalised. However, please note that the course coordinator welcomes discussion about problems with the submission of work, and extensions can be provided where there are health or personal issues that mean this is necessary. Late work with no explanation prior to late submission will be penalised.
    Early submissions of projects will be rewarded in the following way:
    Each 24 hours earlier than the deadline adds 2% to the project mark. A student can accumulate up to 10% of such credit (if submitting 5 days earlier = 120 hours).
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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