Spring 2021 - ARCH 442 D100

Forensic Anthropology (5)

Class Number: 7364

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    ARCH 373.



Current techniques in identification of recent human skeletal remains.


This course is designed to provide the student with theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to the role of the forensic anthropologist in death investigations. The core of the course will deal with anthropological methods of examination in the laboratory, including distinguishing animal from human bone, evaluating forensic significance, estimating time elapsed since death, estimating ancestry, sex, age and stature, establishing identification, trauma analysis and reconstructing the circumstances of death. Topics also include detection and recovery of human remains, and age estimation in the living. Students will gain experience working on a mock forensic case, and will learn from lectures (2 hours per week) and structured labs (2 hours per week). Course materials will be posted on SFU’s learning management system, Canvas (http://www.sfu.ca/canvas.html), on a weekly basis.


  • Weekly Lab Assignments 40%
  • Mid-term Paper 20%
  • Final Report and Presentation 40%


Lectures will be held remotely, with eight (8) in-person lab meetings. 

Labs will be based on handling real human bones. Some of the material presented during lectures might contain disturbing images.



Christensen, Angi M., Nicholas V. Passalacqua, and Eric J. Bartelink. 2019 Forensic Anthropology: Current Methods and Practice. Academic Press.

ISBN: 9780128157343

Additional readings will be assigned for some lectures and will be on reserve in the Library or Canvas.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).