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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Palaeopathology Summer School


27 July - 7 August 2020

Department of Archaeology

Durham University

Palaeopathology is the most direct evidence for health and well being in the past, and how it affected their daily lives. It is a field of bioarchaeology that has real relevance to understanding who we are today.

This hands-on practically based course will provide you with a unique opportunity to learn more about palaeopathology, and time in practical sessions will be the closest we can get to our ancestors.

Who is the course for?

All people are welcome from within or outside archaeology and anthropology, and those in retirement looking to continue/pursue their interests. International applicants are very welcome.

Applicants need to be 18 years of age or over and have some education in the study of archaeological human remains.

What will the course cover?

The course will initially cover normal human variation (biological sex, age at death, metrical and non-metrical analysis) and then emphasize palaeopathology, including:

  • current palaeopathology practice
  • the history of its study
  • theory and practice in palaeopathology
  • all major disease categories
  • hands on practical experience, including considerations of pseudopathology
  • ethical issues surrounding palaeopathology and human remains
  • the multidisciplinary nature of palaeopathological study
  • current research themes

Language of the course

The course will be taught in English primarily by:

There will also be some guest lectures from Durham and elsewhere.

Applicants should have a good command of English to get the most out of the course.

Brief course timetable

Those staying in Durham in college accommodation (see options below), will need to arrive on Sunday 26 July. Teaching will begin on Monday 27 July at 10:00 am in the Fenwick Human Osteology Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Durham University. Teaching will take place from Monday to Friday each week, beginning at 9.30 am and ending by 5.00 pm. The weekend of the 1 and 2 August will be free of teaching so that course participants can explore Durham city and the surrounding region.

What is the cost of the course?

The basic fee for the 10 day course is £995. This covers all tuition and teaching materials, teas/coffees throughout the course, a start-of-course welcome reception (27 July), an end-of-course social event (6 August), and an informal attendance certificate. Participants must provide their own lunches.

Is accommodation available?

Yes, you can stay in University accommodation or find private lodging (via University accommodation in one of our colleges will cost an additional £500 covering 12 nights bed and breakfast accommodation (single), from 26 July to 7 August inclusive. Evening meals are not included.

Fee for course inc. welcome and end of course receptions


With B&B accommodation


How do I apply to attend this course?

We have 16 places available for the course in July - August 2020.

Applications must be received by 1 May 2020, at which point all applicants will be considered for the 16 available places.

Applications should be made on the form downloadable at the bottom of this page, and submitted to

Notification of acceptance will be given by the 6 May 2020 via email.

Payment for the course

Once you have received notification that you have been accepted, the full course payment deadline will due by 27 May 2020. You will be notified on acceptance of how to pay your fees. In case of withdrawal, a full refund (minus an £150 administration fee) can be made available until the 20 July 2020. After this date all fees and accommodation costs are non-refundable.


Please note that it is the responsibility of the applicant to arrange their visa, should they require one. Applicants should also arrange their own travel and health insurance.

Please contact either Professor Roberts ( or Dr Jakob ( for further information.