SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Recover human skeletal remains for analysis 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
119865  Recover human skeletal remains for analysis 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Archaeology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 07 - Human and Social Studies Traditions, History and Legacies 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This Unit Standard is intended for learners who work as field or laboratory assistants when human remains are excavated and analysed. It may also be useful for learners in museums who do not have formal qualifications and learners on excavation sites who assist with excavations following set procedures.

The qualifying learner is capable of:
  • Applying knowledge of death and burial in a South African context.
  • Applying knowledge of burial practices to excavate a grave.
  • Analysing the bones from a grave.
  • Researching issues regarding the excavation of human remains. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is recommended that learners should be competent in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF level 3. 

    UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    This Unit Standard is for learners working under supervision as assistants on sites where human remains are excavated. They are required to follow instructions. The documentation of the grave is the responsibility of the Archaeologist. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Apply knowledge of death and burial in an archaeological context in South Africa. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Beliefs about death in the South African context are explored with reference to the archaeological context in South Africa. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Beliefs include Stone Age, Iron Age, colonial and recent periods.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Different types of context in which human remains are found are explained with reference to how the burial context reflects cultural beliefs. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Contexts include, but are not limited to, body positions in to Stone Age sites, Iron Age sites and a modern environment.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The significance of the body position in a grave is interpreted with reference to historical and ethnographic information. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The concept of grave goods is explained with reference to cultural beliefs, practices and possible identification. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Different grave forms are explained with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Grave forms include, but is not limited to, cairns, shafts, pot burials,modern burials, cave burials, walled in shelters and niche burials.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Ways in which graves can be disturbed are recognised with reference to post-burial processes and activities. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Apply knowledge of burial practices to excavate a grave. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Bones and associated cultural material are exposed with minimal disturbance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Appropriate tools are used to excavate a human grave. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Techniques for excavating and stabilising human bones are demonstrated using appropriate methods. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Sketches of the grave are drawn to record the position of human remains and grave good within the excavation grid. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the bones of the human skeleton. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The bones of a human skeleton are identified, named, sorted and laid out in the correct anatomical position. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Appropriate terminology for the human skeleton is used, to assist with orientation of the bones. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Terminology includes, but is not limited to, proximal, distal, lateral, medial and anatomical left and right.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Human bones from a selected grave and classified according to age, possible sex, obvious pathologies and post deposition modifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Human bones from a burial site are recorded in an inventory using a standard format. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Research issues regarding the excavation of human remains. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Information that could possibly be recovered from the analysis of human remains is discussed with reference to current examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Sensitivities concerning human remains are researched and compared for different contexts. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    A case study of reburial or repatriation is researched, with reference to the affected communities and/or descendants of the buried individual. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Ethical issues relating to research and the keeping of human remains are discussed with reference to the appropriate legislation and the Archaeologists' Code of Conduct. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Contexts other than graves in which human remains are recovered are described with examples. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a candidate against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or ETQA where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA or ETQA where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    The learner can work effectively with others as a member of a team in the excavation of a grave. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    The learner is able to collect, evaluate and organise information in excavating and sorting human bones, sketching the position of the body in the grave and researching issues about the excavation of human remains. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    The learner is able to communicate effectively in discussing ethical issues relating to research and the keeping of human remains. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    The learner is able to show cultural sensitivity in excavating human remains. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Search words:
  • Archaeology; human remains; skeletons; burials; indigenous knowledge; graves, heritage. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  57712   Further Education and Training Certificate: Generic Management  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.