New Human Osteology Lab Workbook Now Available

After many years of crafting a series of labs for Human Osteology, a course that I've taught at three different universities serving three very different bodies of students, I decided to stick them all together, along with a bunch of handouts and charts, into one big PDF.  It can be yours in an instant via this link. (Or yours within a week or so if you want the printed copy.)  If you want to check out a sample lab first to whet your appetite, here's a link to that at

I feel a bit weird about putting a price on it rather than giving it away for free, since I'm all into the open science thing, but I figured that most of you would happily buy me a beer or two at a conference for sharing this, and so that's the cost I put on it. I toyed with the idea of presenting this to a publisher, as a sort of companion text to White's Human Osteology book, but I honestly didn't want to get into things like assessment and teaching theory and instructions for deploying the labs. Also, it'd be much more expensive to buy.

So, as a compromise between giving money to a publisher and giving this away for free, I've slapped a creative commons license on it, which means you can do just about anything you want with it (print for students, stick it on your eLearning site, adapt as needed for your own course) except publish it as your own (duh). I of course always appreciate appropriate credit, especially if you use the activities in an academic paper or presentation.

One thing I've wanted to do for a while is to create fill-in-able PDFs for the lab activities and the charts, but I also think that a Human Osteology workbook that is completely online is perhaps the best idea, especially if students can fill in their assignments and then click a button to email them to the instructor.  I do all my professional data collection in a database (so, paperless) and it's weird to me that I still make my students fill out paper forms.  If you want to help make these labs and worksheets 21st century compliant, drop me a line (killgrove at uwf dot edu). I'd totally be up for collaborating to make this more professional.

Finally, for more about my teaching, you can click on the "Teaching" tag below.  I've got posts on this blog that detail my implementation of activities in the workbook like "OsteOlympics," and there are even some activities that are here on the blog but not in the book like "Osteo 'Beer' Pong."

I'm hoping this helps those of you teaching Human Osteology this coming academic year!  And of course I always welcome feedback (even if it's as simple as a typo in the workbook).


Anonymous said…
This is such a useful book! I think I'm going to purchase one just to test myself, but I can see how useful this would be in any number of outreach or academic situations. By the way, that map documenting your Forbes posts is great as well - I've been thinking that I haven't covered much bioarchaeology news at all recently but I've been wondering which geographic areas I haven't discussed on the site and I think it is much the same - Africa, Australia and East Asia.

Keep up the awesome work both here and at Forbes - your outreach work is truly amazing and inspirational!
Thanks, David! The workbook is a series of lab activities, along with some basic handouts (e.g., inventory sheet), so it's not really a test-yourself type of thing. Although there is a crossword puzzle related to the foot in there... :-)

And thanks for the kind words about my outreach. I try to do stuff that wasn't available when I was in school -- I never heard AIA lectures about bioarchaeology, the Internet wasn't really a big thing until I was in grad school, and I got my public archaeo news from actual printed newspapers (my grandfathers would both send me clippings from their papers on two different coasts). Putting the map together was fun, and I learned a bunch!
Anonymous said…
Ah I see, still it sounds like it could be very useful and it'd be nice to have something that highlights the variety in ways to teach bioarchaeology rather than just having a large pile of textbooks (that seem to pile up, half read, of their own accord!). It'd also be good for my family and friends to actually take a look at how and why we do things we do.

It's my pleasure Kristina - I'd definitely say you are helping to broaden what it means to not just blog bioarchaeology but to blog in general. It is fantastic that you are fitting it in on top of your job and extra-curricular publishing! At the moment I'm finding it tough to fit blogging in with trying to draft a chapter and the other job.

The map is great! I've seen Jess's over at Bone Broke highlighting her project experience and think it is a lovely feature that highlights the value of bioarch internationally. Not sure my Wordpress set up could cope with a map - the column is a tad restricting but I'm also loathe to change the style of it just yet!

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