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The Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield (UK) is pleased to announce the launch of its new Masters (MSc) in Osteoarchaeology, to start in the academic year 2012-13.

Closing date for application - 25th May

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1090[/ATTACH]

This programme combines the study of human and animal bones from archaeological sites.

It gives the students the opportunity to focus on either, or both, research specialisms. The teaching is centred on the explanation of methods and theoretical approaches that can be used to address many different types of archaeological questions, regardless of the period or geographical area.

The teaching will consist of both lab-based practical sessions and theoretical lectures. Students will benefit from exposure to leading research teams in both human and animal bones and will have the opportunity to engage in discussions with postgraduate and postdoctoral students and staff, both inside and outside the classroom. Students will play an active part in the shaping of their own programme of study and they will also have the opportunity to develop their own original research. Due to the prominence of the Sheffield research environment and its track-record in teaching and training, graduates from this programme will be in a prime position to continue their education or seek employment with research, educational or commercial organisations.

For further information please see:
http://www.shef.ac.uk/archaeology/postgr...chaeology/

or contact Umberto Albarella, email u.albarella@sheffield.ac.uk.
cant work out what you need to qualify to do the wonderful course. Possibly nothing to do with archaeology or bones?
Speaking as a taxpayer, do we actually need any more? :face-stir:
Dinosaur Wrote:Speaking as a taxpayer, do we actually need any more? :face-stir:

What do your taxes have to do with how other people spend their own money?
Dinosaur Wrote:Speaking as a taxpayer, do we actually need any more? :face-stir:

While I agree with Tom's statement that people should be free to spend their money on whatever they want, I do have some concerns that people may take courses such as these because they think that an additional qualification in a specialist field will enable them to get a better-paid or more secure job. Although some might, I'd suggest that anyone considering this should look at whether there is a shortage of staff in their selected specialism, how many people qualify in that field each year, and what happens to most of them. I know a couple of people who did osteology postgrads, and both returned to commercial field archaeology at the end of their courses, working for the same wages but with more debt. I'm all for education and people pursuing their interests, but at the moment I'd probably agree with Dino, in that I'm not aware that there's a shortage of osteoarchaeologists.
When I was at Sheffield half of the bone furtlers were Yanks anyway.
Dinosaur, I suppose you didn't pay any fees and got a student grant? I reckon university courses trained far more undergrads than were needed in archaeology even in whatever year you graduated.
Following on... I have no doubt that the Uni.of Sheffield will run an exemplary osteo course that people will pay for, because potential students always seem willing to pay fro osteo courses, hence the massive surplus of archaeologists with post-grad osteo qualifications. At one point my unit had 5, of which only one was actually functioning as an osteo specialist.

It would be nice to see if Sheffield and ither universities wiuld consider similar courses for the likes of small finds, fir which there is a massive shortage of specialists, or pottery, which has many aging specialists that keep suffling their mortal coil. 'Young' specialists in these areas tend to be in their 30s, myself included; I encounter a few students at conferences and workshops, usually pursuing specific dissertation topics on pottery etc, but it would be nice to see some specific academic training in the fields that might feed into the wider sector. Just a thought.
Experience is far more important in the world of specialists.............maybe becoming an apprentice of a well-known and well-used specialist and learning the practical skills from them would be more useful to anyone wanting to become a specialist.

An Msc etc. would be a start though. But nothing beats experience.

But yes I have also worked with diggers who have completed a post-grad course in some specialism or other.

So a Msc in say zooarchaeology does not mean you can suddenly jump into assessing assemblages and doing analysis fit for publication, in the same way as a degree doesn't mean your suddenly an expert archaeologist capable of running a site, doing the post-ex and producing a decent archive and site report.

Not poo-pooing any particular person or course, but I've come across at least one graduate of a bones-related Msc would couldn't tell the difference between animal and human disarticulated bone.
gonetopot Wrote:.......................<snip>

It would be nice to see if Sheffield and ither universities wiuld consider similar courses for the likes of small finds, fir which there is a massive shortage of specialists, or pottery, which has many aging specialists that keep suffling their mortal coil. 'Young' specialists in these areas tend to be in their 30s, myself included; I encounter a few students at conferences and workshops, usually pursuing specific dissertation topics on pottery etc, but it would be nice to see some specific academic training in the fields that might feed into the wider sector. Just a thought.

Yes we are all worried about what will happen when a certain Yorkshire-based early prehistoric pottery specialist (and general god of prehistory) moves on to the great museum store in the sky. He needs to train a young apprentice, or a lot of his knowledge will be lost.

I suspect this problem is fairly widespread in archaeology.

Maybe archaeologists should be cryogenically frozen when they reach a certain age so they can be preserved then defrosted when death has been cured..............or easier still, have their brains downloaded onto a virtual store, so future researchers can pop in and have a chat.
I agree with all that experience is vital, having spent the past ten years acquiring it and continuing to do so. The problem, as ever, is funding... experienced specialists do not work for free so perhaps university courses could teach the basic skills of particular pecialisms and engage specialists from the commercial sector to provide experience for students, because it would be great if students could see a bit more about the application of finds in proffesional archaeology rather than studying ad infinitum prehistoric pottery typologies that only occur on the fringes of scotland, and are only present outside museums in very very small pieces.

But my ranting aside, it would be interesting to see the IFA finds groups, prehistoric, Roman and medieval pottery research groups exploring the idea of greater engagement with universities, especially as many include some academics in their ranks.
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