Skip to content

The archeology of Death: training in Archaeothanatology for archaeologists

Take part in this initiation to the specific problems and stakes of archaeo-anthropology and archaeology of Death !

← Back to courses
CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 2
Course dates
11 - 26 September 2021
Registrations for this course have now closed.

The aim of this course is to raise the awareness of those involved in archaeology on the specific questions encountered when excavating and studying funerary structures and funerary sites.

In this context, the objective is to enable archaeologists and historians to integrate into their thinking the questions that are specific to archaeo-anthropology, from the earliest stages of the work, in order to create a synergy conducive to an optimised study, an in-depth analysis and the creation of quality primary data that can be used, transmitted and sustained.

Main topics addressed

  • Problems of the archaeology of Death: why do we study a funerary structure or a funerary site ? The excavation and the study of funerary structures is the starting point for an extensive historical and conceptual reflection. The archaeology of Death is a discipline that combines biological, archaeological and historical issues. This obviously leads to the acquisition of a specific disciplinary vocabulary.
  • The stakes involved in the study of funerary structures: the need for a specific, interdisciplinary approach, through close collaboration between, at least, archaeologists and anthropologists. Collaboration is also desirable and desired with any other discipline that allows optimal development of reflections on practices (anthracology, palynology, carpology, ceramology, architecture, geomorphology, etc).
  • The various funerary or mortuary practices during different times and in different spaces: specific issues and methods of study (burial, cremation, the case of large funerary complexes, etc.).
  • Field study methods: excavation of funerary structures and recording of data for an optimal reflection.
  • The environmental archaeology approach: the aim is to reconstruct the geomorphological landscape, the ecosystems, the agricultural activities and, if possible the climate in which the civilisation evolved.
  • Laboratory study: initiation to human osteology and skeletal study methods: making methodological choices in order to answer historical questions. 

Learning outcomes

  • Problems of the archaeology of Death
  • Stakes involved in the study of funerary structures
  • Variability of funerary or mortuary practices
  • Initiation to human osteology and skeletal study methods
  • Identifying grave cuts
  • Skeletal ID & excavation of funerary structures
  • Taphonomical recording
  • Sampling
Language: English (B2 level required) ETCS offerd: 10
Dates:  from 11 to 26 September (3 weeks) Location: Beidaud, Romania
N° of places for CIVIS students: 4 Format: Blended*

*This course is organised in 2 weeks (35h/week) of courses on the field, in Beidaud, Romania, and 1 week (30h) of online theoretical courses. 


Applicants should be Master's or PhD students at one of the CIVIS member universities.

A working knowledge of English (at least B2 level) is required. 

Application process 

Applicants should send their CV and a cover letter (maximum 500 words) to by 30 June 2021. Selected students will be notified on 22 July 2021. 


The assessment will be continuous during the training session: on the field through the excavation of funerary structures and in the classroom through discussions.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

14 professors from 4 CIVIS universities

  • Gaëlle GRANIER, Aix-Marseille University

  • Jean-Christophe SOURISSEAU, Aix-Marseille University, Institut ARKAIA

  • Rémi CORBINEAU, Aix-Marseille University, Institut ARKAIA

  • Valérie ANDRIEU-PONEL, Aix-Marseille University

  • Reine-Marie BERARD, Aix-Marseille University

  • Christophe MORHANGE, Aix-Marseille Université

  • Valentin BOTTEZ, Universitatea din Bucureşti

  • Daniela ZAHARIA, Universitatea din Bucureşti

  • Didier VIVIERS, Université libre de Bruxelles

  • Athéna TSINGARIDA, Université libre de Bruxelles

  • Vivi SARIPANIDI, Université libre de Bruxelles

  • Giorgos VAVOURANAKIS, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

  • Yiannis PAPADATOS, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

  • Nikolaos DIMAKIS, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens