GDPR Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Secure Campus: Information on how we're keeping our campuses safe.

Wrexham Glyndwr University Logo
Preservation & Decay

Preservation & Decay

Are you interested in learning about how fossils are formed and preserved?

This course aims to provide a holistic introduction to the science of taphonomy; how organismal remains decay and enter the archaeological and palaeontological record.

You will be introduced to the core principles of the science, pathways to preservation, destructive processes, investigative approaches and experimental practices all involved in incorporating taphonomic information in forensic, archaeological and palaeontological studies.

The course will be delivered through a series of online lectures and 2 days of practical workshops out in the field. There will be discussions and the opportunity to share information, and develop good communication skills.

Learning materials such as articles and videos will be made available online.

What you will study

• The principles of taphonomy – decay and pathways to preservation
• History and current state of the science
• Taphonomy in deep time
• Palaeontological considerations
• Mineralogical preservation
• Destructive processes
• Interpreting organismal remains Signals and noise in the fossil record
• Taphonomy in archaeology
• Perimortem/postmortem processes
• Soft vs. Hard part preservation
• Experimental taphonomy
• Biases


You will produce a portfolio of material linked to the aspects of preservation and decay covered throughout the module. This portfolio will include:
• A short written piece (maximum of 1000 words) explaining taphonomic principles
• Records of assessments of biological remains and experimental observations
You will also be assessed on other supporting evidence gathered from workshops and practicals undertaken across the module.

Course dates 



Online and 2 days of practicals on the Wrexham Campus and at Brymbo Heritage site.


Full price: £95

Current WGU students / staff and Brymbo volunteers: £55

To book

For further information on future course dates, please contact

Wrexham Glyndwr University Open DaysOpen Evenings 2021